Licensed to ill: Stephen Strasburg might be ailing, but he left the Cubs sick

Stephen Strasburg woke up feeling much better Wednesday. The Chicago Cubs went to bed feeling much worse.

Because Strasburg, battling illness, pitched one of the most rugged, attacking postseason games in recent times, fanning a dozen Cubs in seven scoreless innings while allowing just three hits in a 5-0 win at Wrigley Field, his Nationals will be rewarded with a Game 5 in this National League Division Series on Thursday in Washington. The loser weeps. The winner flies to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers for the pennant and a trip to the World Series.

Nobody in baseball is ever going to see Strasburg the same way after the performance he produced in Wrigley Field on a raw, windy, misty evening. The monstrous talent he has always showed, the refinements in his pitching that have accumulated every year and, finally, the maturity that has developed over the past three years, in the face of nagging criticism, have come together to produce a finished product that was long anticipated and, now, can perhaps simply be appreciated and enjoyed.

Some highlights among the 106 pitches Strasburg fired: Striking out 2016 MVP Kris Bryant three times and Anthony (“Respect Me”) Rizzo twice. His work Wednesday night at Wrigley was of the type that will linger for

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