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Thursday MLB playoffs open thread

Only National League on the schedule for Thursday as the Cubs and Nationals series concludes with Game 5. Stop playing badly, Cubs. Thanks.

Chicago Cubs v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

It all comes down to this for the Cubs and Nationals. One game to rule them all, or at least one game to get them to the next round or send them off to the golf course or the hunting lodge or wherever the heck they go in the offseason.

You can count me, personally, as someone who is annoyed that it ever got to this point. The Cubs should have finished off this Washington squad by now, but for two complete bullpen pants-crappings.

Well, OK, you can't entirely blame the bullpen for the fact that the Cubs scored zero runs yesterday. But they're not going to have a much easier task, today, in facing Gio Gonzalez, who had a 2.96 ERA in the regular season. This is basically the only postseason series to date that has featured good pitching of any sort.

The Metro is reportedly staying open, no thanks to the Nationals themselves. There will be no excuse for those who leave early, though the game does start at 8:08. The average postseason game so far has been over 3:40. That's ridiculous and understandably less desirable for those who are on the east coast and have to get up early the next day.

Today's Lineups

Jon Jay - LF Trea Turner - SS
Kris Bryant - 3B Jayson Werth - LF
Anthony Rizzo - 1B Bryce Harper - RF
Willson Contreras - C Ryan Zimmerman - 1B
Albert Almora - CF Daniel Murphy - 2B
Addison Russell - SS Anthony Rendon - 3B
Jason Heyward - RF Matt Wieters - C
Javier Baez - 2B Michael Taylor - CF
Kyle Hendricks - RHP Gio Gonzalez - LHP