Cubs defeat Nats: Return to NLCS for third straight year

The Cubs defeated the Nationals to post a thrilling 9-8 victory Thursday night and clinch the National League Division Series. Addison Russell drove in four runs, Wade Davis earned a seven-out save, and the Cubs reached their third NL Championship Series in a row.

Chicago will face the Las Angeles Dodgers in a rematch of the 2016 NL Championship Series, which begins Saturday at Dodger Stadium. The two NL teams join the American League Championship Series finalists -- the Astros and Yankees -- in baseball's postseason final four.

In an elimination game, the Cubs capitalized on the most ignominious inning in Nationals history: A four-run fifth inning that saw reigning Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer record the first two outs without incident, only to see the frame devolve into a barrage of two-strike hits and sheer ineptitude from the Nationals.

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