Stephen Strasburg, Michael A. Taylor put Nats on their backs and force Game 5

Three October heartbreaks, three demoralizing first-round exits and promise left unfulfilled have the Washington Nationals conditioned not to expect much in the way of good luck when the postseason comes around. But baseball’s higher powers, coupled with modern medicine, created a flurry of favorable circumstances Wednesday at Wrigley Field, and the Nationals did not squander the good fortune.

Rain and a last-gasp antibiotic switch gifted Stephen Strasburg the time and vigor to take the ball and dominate the Chicago Cubs in a 5-0 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series. A bad hop on a routine groundball produced their first run instead of their third out of the third inning. And fierce winds prevented the hardest-hit ball the Cubs managed against Strasburg from going over the left field wall.

In the eighth, those Wrigley breezes could not keep Michael A. Taylor’s grand slam from exiting the yard, by barely a foot, in right field.

All those events combined, in stunning fashion, to extend the Nationals’ season and give them a chance to advance to the National League Championship Series for the first time in club history. A decisive Game 5 is scheduled for Thursday night at Nationals Park.

“I felt like this game gave us a little

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