The Nationals couldn’t hold an early 4-1 lead and lost 9-8 to the Cubs in the deciding fifth game of their National League Division Series in D.C.  Former Missouri Tiger Max Scherzer came on in relief and gave up four runs in the fifth inning as Chicago took the lead for good.  Daniel Murphy hit a solo homer and Michael Taylor a three-run shot for the Nats.

Scherzer, who allowed just one hit in 6 1/3 innings in game three of this series, came on in relief in the fifth inning and quickly got the first two outs against Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.  However, two singles, a double and intentional walk set the stage for one of the strangest plays in postseason history.

Scherzer struck out Cubs second baseman Javier Baez, but the ball went to the backstop past Nationals catcher Matt Wieters.  His throw to first was wild, allowing the Cubs to the go-ahead run to make it 5-4.  Wieters and Washington manager Dusty Baker protested the ruling after replays showed Baez hitting Wieters on top of the mask on his follow through swing.  By rule, the play should have been ruled dead.

Scherzer allowed four runs, two earned on three hits and a walk including a catcher’s interference call.

>>More NLDS Heartbreak For Nats

The heartbreak continues for the Nationals’ franchise.  Bryce Harper struck out against Wade Davis to end Washington’s season last night in the NL Division Series.  It’s the fourth time their season has ended in the NLDS since moving from Montreal to Washington in 2005.  They’ve lost three of those four series in five games.

>>Just like the Cardinals

The first playoff series the Nationals lost was in 2012 when they dropped a five-game series to the Cardinals…also a game played on October 12th.  In that game, Adam Wainwright was pulled in the third inning after being charged with six runs.  St. Louis was down 7-5 going into the ninth inning, when they scored four times to shock Washington.  Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma both singled in two runs.

Jason Werth and Bryce Harper both batted in the ninth of that game as well.

By the way…the leadoff hitter for the Cardinals that night?  Jon Jay.  The leadoff hitter for the Cubs last night?  Yep, Jon Jay.