The Chicago Cubs are on their way to the National League Championship Series to face the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cubs defeated the Washington Nationals in five games in a back-and-forth NLDS which featured many close games coming down to the wire. It all ended in Washington D.C. at Nationals Park when the Cubs won a winner-take-all game five by the score of 9-8.

Many players played a role in this dramatic win, but one player that really stands out is reliever Wade Davis. The Cubs closer threw 44 pitches in 2.1 innings to get the final seven outs to relieve a struggling pitching staff.

It was not easy, giving up a run and walking two, but he buckled down and retired the top of the Nationals order in the bottom of the ninth to send the Cubs to Los Angeles.

Dramatic recap

The Nationals won game four 5-0 at Wrigley Field on Wednesday to force this final game. The Cubs sent Kyle Hendricks to the mound and the Nationals sent out Gio Gonzalez. After the Cubs got a run in the first, Hendricks struggled in the second inning and gave up home runs to Daniel Murphy and Michael A. Taylor which gave the Nationals a 4-1 lead. An Addison Russell RBI groundout and a wild pitch in the in the third made it 4-3, which remained that way until the top of the fifth.

Max Scherzer got the call to come in to relieve Gonzalez, and with two outs and nobody on, the Cubs scored four runs to take the lead.

Russell drove in two with a RBI double down the left field line and a controversial strike three pitch that got away from Matt Wieters resulted in a throwing error to score another run. A Jon Jay hit-by-pitch made it 7-4 at the end of the fifth. An eight Cubs run came across in the sixth after Jayson Werth misjudged a line drive right to him, but the Nationals scored two in the bottom of the inning making it 8-6.

The Cubs got a RBI groundout from Kris Bryant in the top of the seventh as the pen continued to struggle in the bottom of the inning. With two out, a run in, it was time to signal the closer for a 2.1 inning save. Davis struck out Ryan Zimmerman to end the inning. He began the bottom of the eighth walking the first two batters, but got pinch-hitter, Adam Lind, to ground into a double play.

The one run that scored off Davis was on the next batter as Taylor hit an RBI single up the middle, but got out of the inning picking off Jose Lobaton after a video review. He closed out the game retiring Bryce Harper by getting him to swing and miss at a breaking ball on a 3-2 count.

Davis' success

The Cubs got the veteran closer in a trade with the Kansas City Royals in the offseason. The Royals got Jorge Soler in exchange for Davis straight up and it has worked wonders for the Cubs. He converted 32/33 saves with a 2.30 ERA and 1.142 WHIP with 79 strikeouts. He owns the longest streak of recording saves in a Chicago Cubs uniform and was the only player to represent the Cubs in the 2017 All-Star game.

While he gave up a grand slam to Michael A. Taylor in the eighth inning of game four, Davis went 3/3 in save opportunities this series. In 27 postseason games, he sports a career 1.24 ERA and recorded the final out of the 2015 World Series in a Royals uniform.