From the four-run inning to the seven-out save, how the Cubs salvaged their season

Updated: October 12, 2017

4:33 AM ET

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“I was rushing so much I kind of needed a reset,” Davis said. “That was definitely huge. It saved me a bunch of pitches.”

Davis finally caught his breathe but there was still the ninth inning to take care with the top of the order due up for the Nationals. After getting the first two outs, he only needed to get by Bryce Harper to clinch the series. It was a classic battle which Davis won over the course of six pitches. He struck Harper out.

“I was trying not to give up a homer,” Davis simply stated.

He avoided the long ball and put up a heroic performance, even if it didn’t look so good. Most games that take nearly five hours are kind of ugly but if you win them they’re something special.

“It certainly wasn’t pretty, but gutsy it was,” Epstein said.

Davis was asked how he was feeling after throwing 44 pitches and getting seven outs to help send the Cubs back to the National League Championship Series for the third consecutive year.

“My arm is OK,” he said. “I’m emotionally tired right now.”

Anyone who played or watched the entire series between the two teams has to feel the same. It was an epic bout with once again the Cubs coming out on top. They’ve faced every challenge this year and have overcome. That’s not easy the season after winning a championship.

“This is what it’s all about,” Epstein said. “There is no better thing to be known for: Winning at this time of year.”

The Cubs are getting used to these crazy affairs having played that wild Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. But this one may be remembered for more than just a great finish. An early deficit was overcome by taking down a Cy Young winner and then overcoming near bullpen implosions at every turn. It all seemed on the brink of falling apart until a video challenge changed the late game momentum. This night was one for the ages.

“It was one of the most fun games I’ve ever been a part of,” Addison Russell said as he wiped the champagne from his eyes.

The biggest praise was left for Davis. Like Chapman before him, he dug deep and found something he wasn’t even sure he had. But his teammates believed in him and it’s one reason they’re one step away from a return to the World Series.

“He’s one of the toughest guys I’ve ever met,” Hendricks said. “When asked to go seven outs he didn’t bat an eye.”

Zobrist added: “He’s got ice in his veins. That was a very tough moment. He pulled it out for us. A wild finish to a wild game.”

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