In game one of the series, Hendricks tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out six in the 3-0 victory.
The series now shifts to Chicago, where the Cubs will counter with Jose Quintana (11-11), making his postseason debut.
As the inning continued the Cubs would allow a walk to Rendon and a single to Daniel Murphy which gave the opportunity for stalwart Ryan Zimmerman to become a hero.
Chicago committed four errors, including two by left fielder Kyle Schwarber on one ugly play, and Jason Heyward also made an uncharacteristic baserunning mistake. Cue the Benny Hill music. The two errors put Murphy on third, and Maddon was booed as he went to the mound to pull Quintana in favor of Pedro Strop.
"You're happy leaving 1-1 before the series began but you'd really like to be leaving 2-0 leading in the eighth inning; however, that's not reality", Maddon said, according to a Saturday Bleacher Report. They can not win Tuesday without scoring runs. Maddon called Scherzer "oppressively hard versus right-handed hitters", so he's hoping to add another lefty to the lineup.
Arrieta dropped his only decision against the Nationals this year and is 1-2 with a 5.48 ERA in nine career starts against Washington. It also ended Scherzer's night.
"I thought he handled it beautifully", Maddon said. "By next week or the end of this five-game series, we might do something different".
Nationals manager Dusty Baker explained his thinking afterward.
Lefties only had a.119 batting average off of Edwards throughout the regular season.
The "hero" Baker was referring to on Monday afternoon was Max Scherzer, who was making his first start since tweaking his hamstring in his final regular-season outing on September 30.
"That was the only option", Maddon said of using Edwards against Harper. "So you want to not have him in those key RBI situations right now". He had a lot of success with the White Sox, including an All-star nod last season, however never had a chance to pitch in the postseason. I'm a right-handed hitter. "I just knew in the bottom of my heart that we were going to explode for some numbers, which we've done all year".
"I sure hope so", Nationals pitching coach Mike Maddux said. The series is tied, 1-1, heading into Game 3. For a game that was so low-scoring and was dominated by great starting pitching, the Cubs' bench guys played a surprising role in the outcome. The Cubs are a better playoff team. Guys had a little bounce in their step today. Leonys Martin ran for him, and Jon Jay sacrificed him to second. "The first two at-bats he made me look silly". Turns out he was perfectly fine, as he held the Cubs offense hitless over the first 6.1 innings of play.
Quintana has overall done very well in a Cubs uniform so far. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals, and Arizona Diamondbacks are all considered better shots to win the NL Pennant.
The Chicago Cubs host the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field beginning at 3 p.m. Said Baker: "That was critical". "We lost the game. We're focusing on doing our job and hopefully we can come up with a victory tomorrow". While it seems silly now, Dusty was considered one of the finest managers around then, and him shifting to the Cubs was a huge deal.
"The tension and the frustration builds", Zimmerman said, "and sometimes it takes kind of just one hit for everyone to exhale".
"In BP, the ball to the left of the [center field] scoreboard was traveling", Zimmerman said.
Their best player, Kris Bryant, is 25 years old, makes $1.05 million a year (peanuts in MLB) and won't be a free agent until 2022. "We are excited for the start that we had".
With a history of first-round exits, the Nationals refused to buy into the narrative of "here we go again". The Cubs got what they wanted in adding another solid pitcher with years of control.