With their backs against the wall and staring down an 0-2 deficit going to Chicago, two faces of the Nationals' franchise saved the day.Bryce Harper's game-tying, two-run homer and Ryan Zimmerman's three-run go-ahead shot dramatically turned the tide in the bottom of the eighth, giving the Nats a 6-3 victory
With their backs against the wall and staring down an 0-2 deficit going to Chicago, two faces of the Nationals' franchise saved the day.
Bryce Harper's game-tying, two-run homer and Ryan Zimmerman's three-run go-ahead shot dramatically turned the tide in the bottom of the eighth, giving the Nats a 6-3 victory over the Cubs in Game 2 and knotting the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile up at a game apiece.
Before these clubs reconvene on the North Side, here are six facts you should know about Washington's wild come-from-behind Game 2 win:
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1. Harper and Zimmerman's homers marked just the second and third taters that either tied or gave the Nationals a lead in the eighth inning or later in the franchise's postseason history, joining Jayson Werth's walk-off homer in Game 4 of the 2012 NLDS against the Cardinals.
2. Saturday marked the first time a Washington, D.C., baseball team came back from a deficit of two runs or more in the eighth inning or later of a postseason game since Game 7 of the 1924 World Series. The Senators scored two in the eighth to tie the New York Giants before plating the Series-winning run on Earl McNeely's walk-off double in the bottom of the 12th. That happens to also be the last time a Washington team was champion of the baseball world.
3. The Nationals' rally was kick-started by 34-year-old outfielder Adam Lind, who came off the bench and woke up the offense with a single to lead off the eighth. That marked Lind's first postseason plate appearance after 1,344 regular-season games as a Major Leaguer -- the most games recorded by any active position player without having played in October.
- Jonathan Lester was brilliant again in October in Chicago's losing effort, holding the Nationals' offense to one run on two hits over six innings. Saturday marked Lester's 10th career postseason start in which he allowed one run or less, tying Roger Clemens and John Smoltz for the fifth-most such starts all time.
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5. Cubs catcher Willson Contreras opened the Cubs' scoring in the second with a sky-scraping home run that just barely cleared the fence in left. Statcast™ measured Contreras' home run with a 45-degree launch angle, making it both his personal and the Cubs' highest home run by launch angle since Statcast™ was launched in 2015. The highest home run hit by any player this season is 47 degrees, done three times.
- Anthony Rendon got the Nationals' offense started with an opposite-field homer in the first inning. Rendon's shot marked the 10th first-inning homer hit through nine games this October. The D-backs' Paul Goldschmidt later followed with this postseason's 11th first-inning homer, tying 2008 for fifth-most first-inning taters in a postseason. The all-time record is 19 first-inning homers, set in 2004.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.