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Debuts, NLDS run made 2017 memorable

It may not have ended on as high of a note as 2016, but Cubs gave fans plenty to cheer about
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- There were plenty of highlights during the 2017 season for the Cubs, including Anthony Rizzo's leadoff home runs, Wade Davis' incredible saves streak, Javier Baez's defensive plays and Kris Bryant's homers. Here are five moments to remember from the year.

May 13: Ian Happ made his Major League debut on May 13 in St. Louis, starting in right field. He may have struck out in his first at-bat, but Happ made a good impression in the seventh, when he homered to right field on the first pitch from Carlos Martinez. It wasn't enough, as the Cubs lost, 5-3, but Happ did finish with 24 home runs in his rookie season. The Cubs set a Major League record with five 20-homer seasons by players in their age 25-or-younger season (Baez, Bryant, Willson Contreras, Happ and Kyle Schwarber).

CHICAGO -- There were plenty of highlights during the 2017 season for the Cubs, including Anthony Rizzo's leadoff home runs, Wade Davis' incredible saves streak, Javier Baez's defensive plays and Kris Bryant's homers. Here are five moments to remember from the year.

May 13: Ian Happ made his Major League debut on May 13 in St. Louis, starting in right field. He may have struck out in his first at-bat, but Happ made a good impression in the seventh, when he homered to right field on the first pitch from Carlos Martinez. It wasn't enough, as the Cubs lost, 5-3, but Happ did finish with 24 home runs in his rookie season. The Cubs set a Major League record with five 20-homer seasons by players in their age 25-or-younger season (Baez, Bryant, Willson Contreras, Happ and Kyle Schwarber).

Video: Must C Classic: Happ homers for first hit in debut

July 16: The Cubs made a rare crosstown trade with the White Sox, acquiring Jose Quintana. In his first start, the lefty struck out 12 and gave up three hits over seven scoreless innings in an 8-0 win over the Orioles. He went 7-3 with a 3.74 ERA in 14 starts for the Cubs, including a huge win on Sept. 24 over the Brewers to take the series against their division rivals.

Video: CHC@BAL: Quintana fans 12 over seven in Cubs debut

July 27: Schwarber hit two home runs and collected four RBIs in the Cubs' 6-3 win over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Schwarber had been back with the team since July 6 after being sent down to the Minor Leagues while battling .171 through June 21. He finished the year with 30 home runs.

Video: CHC@CWS: Schwarber homers twice, tallies four RBIs

Aug. 3: Contreras belted two home runs and drove in six runs in a 10-8 loss to the D-backs. The young catcher was key in the Cubs' second-half surge, batting .311 with 10 homers and 29 RBIs in 23 games from July 14-Aug. 11, before he was sidelined with a right hamstring injury.

Video: ARI@CHC: Contreras goes yard twice, records six RBIs

Oct. 12: In the decisive Game 5 of the National League Division Series, the Cubs overcame a 4-1 deficit to post a 9-8 victory over the Nationals, sparked by Addison Russell's four RBIs. Kyle Hendricks opened the series with a win, giving up two hits over seven scoreless innings. However, the Cubs couldn't advance past the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, losing the best of seven series, 4-1.

Video: Cubs win exciting five-game NLDS vs. Nationals

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

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