WRIGLEYVILLE — The Cubs put their fans through the wringer Thursday night, but brought home a thrilling National League Division Series win over the Washington Nationals.
An epic, almost five-hour game went to the Cubs 9-8, with twists, turns, scares ... and lots of relief pitchers. The National League Central Division champ Cubs took the best-of-five series 3-2 over the Nationals, who stormed through the season and won the NL East.
When it was done, Cubs fans could take a deep breath. After do a bit of hollering.
In Wrigleyville, ecstatic fans spilled from the bars on Clark Street to high-five strangers. The party stayed on the sidewalks and out of the streets. This is just the first round, after all, and these are the defending World Series champs. Cubs fans, it turned out, acted like they'd been there before.
They now take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in a best-of-seven series that starts in LA on Saturday. The winner moves on to the World Series.
"It was a roller coaster, ups and downs, every pitch mattered," said Sam Lazar, a North Center resident watching the game at the Lucky Dorr near Wrigley Field, where he works. "I think LA is definitely going to be a challenge, but it's the playoffs, and anyone can choke.
"It's very special to actually be right next to the park and feel all the energy around that's carried on from last year. And now we get to go through it again."
Some fans headed straight to the brick walls behind Wrigley Field, where a chalk wall of love is growing with messages scrawled there by fans.
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