Cubs Game 1 Notes For Friday @ Washington
* The Nationals went 4-3 against the Cubs this year, with the teams splitting four meetings in Washington (2-2). The franchises have never previously met in the postseason.
* Washington’s 97 wins this season were one shy of the franchise record of 98 set in 2012. The Nationals have the second-best record in the majors since that 2012 season (.571 winning percentage; Dodgers, .575), but have not advanced past the NLDS in any of those seasons, falling in this round in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
* The Cubs are in the postseason for a third straight year after posting the NL’s best record after the All-Star break (49-25, .662). They’ll look to become the first team to repeat as World Series champion since the Yankees won three in a row from 1998-2000.
* Anthony Rizzo led the Cubs with 32 home runs and 109 RBIS this season – matching his exact totals from the 2016 season. He’s the fourth Cub all-time with 30 homers and 100 RBI in three or more straight seasons, joining Sammy Sosa (nine straight. 1995-2003), Hack Wilson (four, 1927-30) and Ernie Banks (four, 1957-60).
* Kyle Hendricks had a 2.19 ERA in 13 starts after the All-Star break, compared to a 4.09 ERA in 11 starts before the break. In five starts last postseason, Hendricks went 1-1 with a 1.42 ERA.
* The Nationals had four players with 20+ home runs and a .300+ batting average this season, in Daniel Murphy, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon. They are the 11th team all-time with four (or more) such players, and first since the 2011 Red Sox.
* Stephen Strasburg was unbeaten over his last seven starts of the regular season, going 5-0 with a 0.57 ERA; he allowed no earned runs in six of the seven starts. He’s made just one career postseason start, in Game 1 of the 2014 NLDS versus the Giants (5.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, loss).