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2012 MLB Playoffs: Cardinals score 4 in 9th to stun Nationals, 9-7

The Nationals were one strike away from advancing to the NLCS, and then it all fell apart.

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Edwin Jackson would like to return to Washington

Edwin Jackson is ticketed for free agency this winter, but is interested in returning to the Washington Nationals in 2013 and beyond.


LaRoche, Nats begin working on contract extension

Adam LaRoche and the Washington Nationals are working on a multi-year contract extension.


Davey Johnson, Nats fans upset after loss

Few things could be more gut-wrenching than the way the Washington Nationals' season ended last night. One strike away from the first playoff series victory in the nation's capital for more than 80 years — twice — and the St. Louis Cardinals battled back with the weakest hitters in the lineup and ended the Nats' season.

As painful as it will be for Nats' fans to relive the series, there are few fan bases more associated with torture than those in Washington, DC. This year, they just have a new sport to be miserable about for a few months, after the most perfect summer many of them could imagine.

Nationals' manager Davey Johnson, a shoo-in for NL Manager of the Year, was upset with the walks issued, in particular from closer Drew Storen, who walked Yadier Molina and David Freese with two outs and 1-2 counts on each. Federal Baseball's Patrick Reddington was there with Johnson's reaction and some of his own:

When asked about his message to the players, Johnson said he told the team that "it was nothing to hang your head about. It was a great year. We overcame a lot of problems. We proved our worth and we just need to let this be a lesson and have some... learn from it, have more resolve, come back and carry it a lot farther."

And for the fans? "I'm sorry. We'll make it up to them next year. It was a fun ride. A lot of character. I really enjoyed managing them this year," Johnson said.


St. Louis fans react to improbable comeback

Following the Cardinals' improbable comeback on Friday night in Game 5, Dan Moore of Viva El Birdos asks, "Daniel Descalso and Peter Kozma?" The Cardinals rode these two unlikely heroes to a 9-7 victory, which clinched the NLDS and eliminated the Washington Nationals.

After three innings, the Cardinals trailed, 6-0. St. Louis chipped away at the deficit, culminating in a four-run ninth inning. Descalso and Kozma each had two-run singles in the ninth to give the Cardinals their only lead of the game. Descalso had also hit a solo home run in the eight.

Despite their early mistakes, the Cardinals continued to fight. Says Moore:

"The Cardinals did so much in that game that we'd be complaining about all tomorrow morning if they'd lost. They missed more opportunities than most teams get in the average postseason game, and they stuck behind Adam Wainwright longer than Twitter wanted. Now it doesn't matter."


Davey Johnson: 'You learn from it'

The Washington Nationals were one strike away from moving on to the NLCS to face the San Francisco Giants, but a blown lead in the top of the ninth ended the Nats' 2012 campaign and stunned a sold-out crowd in Nationals Park.


NLDS Game 5:'I can take it -- but it hurts'

The late, great Shirley Povich carries us into winter.


NLDS: Gone in 14 pitches

How the Nationals went from one strike away from the NLCS to behind two runs in the top of the 9th inning.


Cardinals advance to NLCS with 9-7 win

The Nationals completed a historical collapse by blowing a 6-0 lead and losing to the Cardinals in Game 5 of the National League Division Series.


Cardinals manage one more, cut score to 6-4

When Edwin Jackson walked Jon Jay to lead off the top of the seventh inning, it was the fourth consecutive inning that the lead off batter got on base for the Cardinals, and it ended up representing another run for St. Louis as they cut the Washington lead to 6-4.

While the Nationals escaped the top of the sixth without allowing a run, a double by Carlos Beltran with no outs and Jay on first set the Cardinals up with another golden scoring opportunity. While Matt Holliday didn't cash in very big with a groundout to the shortstop, it was enough to bring Jay home and cut further into the Washington lead.

Jackson took care of business with a strikeout of Allen Craig and, although he walked Yadier Molina to give the Cardinals first and second base with two outs, he finished the inning with another strikeout by getting David Freese to swing at and miss a slider.

After escaping the jam with only one run allowed, the Nationals need to hold a two-run lead for six more outs and they'll earn themselves a trip to the National League Championship Series.


Cardinals chip into lead, trail 6-3

In the top of the fourth inning, Gio Gonzalez allowed a lead off walk that turned into a run after Matt Holliday roped a double up the left field line on the next at bat. However, Gonzalez was fortunate to escape the inning without further damage done. He then got himself another jam in the fifth, allowing two more runs to cut a 6-0 Nationals lead down to 6-3.

Daniel Descalso started the top of the fifth with a double to right and advanced to third with a sharp, line-drive single to right by Pete Kozma. Gonzalez began to lose the strike zone after that point, walking Shane Robinson to load the bases.

While Gonzalez managed to get Jon Jay to pop out and Holliday to ground into a fielder's choice, two more walks and a wild pitch that got away from Kurt Suzuki allowed two runs to come home. With the bases loaded, Gonzalez stopped the bleeding, forcing Yadier Molina to pop out to right field.


Nationals rock Adam Wainright for 6 runs early

After fireworks in the bottom of the first inning for the Nationals, the 19-year old rookie sensation, Bryce Harper, continued the hot hitting start for the team by belting a solo home run over the wall in right-center in the bottom of the third. He was shortly followed by Michael Morse hitting a two-run home-run into the bullpen in left-center to expand their lead to 6-0.

The shot made Harper the second teenager to ever hit a postseason home run, joining Andruw Jones, who had two at age 19 in 1996. It came only two innings after Harper became the youngest person ever to hit a postseason triple. Upon the second home run from Morse, Adam Wainwright's outing was ended and he was replaced on the mound by Joe Kelly.

Gio Gonzalez allowed a bloop single in the top of the first and a ground ball in the second inning that got through the hole into left field, but neither runner was able to advance to second. Gonzalez recorded four strikeouts in the first three innings.


Nationals take 3-0 lead before recording first out

The Nationals wasted little time getting out ahead early, scoring three runs off Adam Wainwright before the Cardinals could even record their first out in Game 5 of the NLDS.

In the top of the first, Carlos Beltran hit a bloop single with one out, but Gio Gonzalez handled each of the next two batters easily to get out of the inning without allowing a run. In the bottom of the frame, though, the Nationals made an impact right away.

Leading off for the Nationals, Jayson Werth hit a stand up double off the wall in left field. He scored a few pitches later when Bryce Harper recorded just his second hit of the series by belting a ball deep into center field. The ball came just short of clearing the wall, but bounced away from Jon Jay far enough to allow Harper to reach third base.

With Harper on third and still no outs, Ryan Zimmerman cleaned up with a home run over the wall in right-center field. Wainwright recovered and struck out each of the next three batters, but the early damage was done, and after one inning, the home team has a 3-0 lead.


Nats, Cards stick with same lineup for Game 5

With a berth in the National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants on the line, Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson has made no changes to a lineup that has scored just nine runs in the first four games of the series.


WMATA: Nearly 15K fans used Metro after Game 4

The transit authority says that nearly 15,000 Nats fans used the system to get home (or to go drinking, whichever).


Nats-Cardinals Game 5 preview: Gio takes mound

Gio Gonzalez toes the rubber for the Washington Nationals in a win-or-go-home Game 5, hoping his team can finally muster some offense against the St. Louis Cardinals


Reaction: St. Louis 'missed opportunity' Thursday

When Jayson Werth's memorable 13-pitch at-bat in the bottom of the ninth inning ended Game 4 with a walk-off blast that will send the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals to a decisive Game 5 in the National League Division series on Friday night, the defending champions now sit one game away from squandering a 2-1 series lead.

Dan Moore of SB Nation's Cardinals blog, Viva El Birdos, broke down the added importance of missed opportunities in the postseason heading into Game 5:

"Tie ballgames don't feel like tie ballgames in the postseason, because it takes a lot of mistakes and missed opportunities to make the average tie ballgame ... In the postseason each one reads as a missed opportunity, a kind of buffoonish failure to recognize just how few opportunities each team gets before they're eliminated.

Which is to say that the Cardinals' not-entirely-unfamiliar inability to score runs for an effective starter played up a little more sinister than usual in this particular context-it wasn't just the way they'd left the game tied, it was proof that they'd eventually lose it, having failed to properly appreciate what they had."

As Adam Wainwright will start for the Cardinals, Washington sends Gio Gonzalez, who last started in the Nationals' 3-2 win in Game 1, to the hill. Moore is anticipating another stressful night of playoff baseball:

"In Game 5 the Cardinals will run up against their other missed opportunity, when Gio Gonzalez probably won't walk seven batters in five innings. Anticipated angst levels: High."


Werth: 'What a difference a day makes'

The Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals played a tight 1-1 game in front of 44,392 screaming fans in the nation's capital and then Jayson Werth's walk-off winner sent the D.C. Faithful home happy knowing there would be a Game 5 in D.C. Friday night.


Werth gives Nats sudden life with walkoff shot

D.C. was formally reintroduced to playoff baseball Thursday night. Then Jayson Werth started a party.


Werth walkoff forces Game 5 in Washington

Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche hit home runs as the Washington Nationals forced a Game 5 of the NLDS.


Nats, Cards still tied after 6 innings

After six innings of play in Washington, the Nats and Cards are still tied, 1-1. The Nationals took the lead in the bottom of the second when Adam LaRoche hit a lead-off home run, and the Cardinals tied it in the third when Pete Kozma scored on a Carlos Beltran sacrifice fly.

Ross Detwiler has now thrown 104 pitches in his six innings of work. He's allowed three hits, and given up three free passes while striking out two batters. The only run given up by Detwiler is unearned, as Ian Desmond booted a ball in the third inning that left the Cards in position to score.

Kyle Lohse has been a bit more economical with his pitches than Detwiler, he's needed just 77 pitches to get through six innings. Lohse has allowed only two hits and one earned run, and is yet to issue a walk. He's struck out five Nats' batters in Game 4.

Detwiler will be replaced by Jordan Zimmermann for the seventh inning.


Cards, Nats, tied after 3 innings

At the end of three innings in Washington, the Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals are tied, 1-1.

Adam LaRoche got the Nationals on the board in the bottom of the second, when he led of the inning with a home run. It was LaRoche's second home run of the series, and it put the Nationals up 1-0.

The Cardinals answered in the top of the third inning, when Pete Kozma scored from third on a Carlos Beltran sacrifice fly. Kozma reached third when Ian Desmond misplayed a ground ball, allowing John Jay to reach first base and leaving the Cardinals with just one out.

Through three innings, Nationals' pitcher Ross Detwiler has allowed only a single hit, and the lone run against him is unearned due to the error by Desmond. He's thrown 48 pitches, striking out one and walking one. Cards pitcher Kyle Lohse has also thrown 48 pitches through his first three innings of work, allowing only one hit (the LaRoche home run). Lohse has struck out three batters with no free passes.


USA Today: Nats 'most hated' in baseball

From afterthought to laughingstick to despised?


Nats' Johnson sticks with same lineup for Game 4

Washington manager Davey Johnson is sticking with the same lineup for Thursday's Game 4 at Nationals Park.


Davey On Jackson: 'He Just Made Bad Pitches...'

Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson and GM Mike Rizzo tried to provide some perspective and keep hope alive after the Nats lost 8-0 to St. Louis on Wednesday and went down 2-1 in the NLDS.


Nats drop Game 3 to St. Louis, 8-0

The Washington Nationals lost their first-ever home postseason game, 8-0, to the St. Louis Cardinals to fall behind 2-1 in the National League Division Series.


Carpenter finally out of game, but Cards add a run

The St. Louis Cardinals have added to their early lead and are now up 5-0 on the Nationals through the first six innings. After an ugly first two innings, Edwin Jackson settled in a bit and pitched three scoreless to keep the deficit at 4-0. But with Jackson out of the game, the Cardinals added to their lead by quickly getting to reliever Craig Stammen. The Nats reliever has appeared in all three games of the NLDS so far, and he was roughed up for two runs in Game 2.

Stammen hit leadoff hitter Yadier Molina to start the Cards sixth-inning rally. The next batter, Davie Freese, doubled off the wall in right to put the first two men aboard. Freese hit a high drive and it appeared Jayson Werth had a bead on it, but the ball hit just above his glove on the wall. Molina came home for the fifth run of the game on Daniel Descalso's sacrifice fly to right. Werth's throw was late and well off-line, going all the way to the backstop. Freese advanced to third, but Stammen retired the final two batters to keep the damage at just one run.

Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter dodged a couple Nationals scoring threats to get through 5 and 2/3 innings unscathed. The Nats had a hit in each of the first six innings, but failed to plate a run. Washington had a great opportunity to break through against Carpenter in the bottom of the fifth, but a Michael Morse flyout to right left the bases loaded. Carpenter had walked two and gave up a single to Ryan Zimmerman, but the Nationals left fielder could not come through with the bags juiced. Morse had also struck out in the first inning with Jayson Werth on third.

It was pinch hitter Steve Lombardozzi who finally knocked out Carpenter, as the veteran righty exited with men on first and second. Lombardozzi hit for Stammen and took a Carpenter offering through the gap on the right side, forcing Mike Matheny to make the call for Trevor Rosenthal. The Cards reliever was making his first appearance of the series, and he quickly got Werth down 0-2 before inducing a pop out to foul territory to end the inning with Ian Desmond on second.

With just nine outs left, the Nationals offense will need to get to work quickly on the Cards bullpen in the seventh.


Edwin Jackson roughed up early, Nats trailing, 4-0

The first postseason game at Nationals Park is not off to the best of starts, as Edwin Jackson has been roughed up through the first two innings of Game 3. The Cardinals struck quickly for a run in the top of the first when Allen Craig ripped a double down the left field line to score Matt Holliday all the way from first. The ball got stuck under the padding of the left-field wall, forcing Michael Morse to run all the way to the corner and providing time for Holliday to get around third and score. An animated gif of the trouble in the corner:


The quick run quelled the Washington crowd a bit, but the big blow in the top of the second brought a hush over the park. No. 8 hitter Pete Kozma turned on a Jackson offering for a three-run homer into the first row of seats in left.

Jackson yielded four straight hits to start off the inning, and it looked like he might not make it out of the second. He's struggling with the location of his pitches, leaving balls out and up over the plate that catcher Kurt Suzuki has repeatedly called for to be down. Jackson faced the Cardinals in his second-to-last start of the season at the end of September, and he did not get out of the second inning in that outing, giving up eight earned runs.

On the other side, the Nationals had an opportunity to respond to the Cards in the bottom of the first, but a scoring chance ended with Jayson Werth stranded on third base.


Nationals player believes team needs Strasburg

A Washington Nationals player said he thinks the team would be up two games in the National League Division Series if Stephen Strasburg was available to pitch.


Johnson, Matheny set their lineups for Game 3

Davey Johnson and Mike Matheny have set their lineups for a crucial Game 3, and there are no changes from the first two games of the NLDS.


Detwiler looks to lead Nats in Game 4

The Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals are ready to square off in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.


Playoff baseball comes to DC, Nats turn to Jackson

Edwin Jackson faces Chris Carpenter in a crucial Game 3 as playoff baseball debuts in Washington.


NLDS Game 4 scheduled for 4:07 p.m. Thursday

Major League Baseball has announced tentative start times for Games 4 and 5 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals.


D.C., St. Louis Mayors make lamest bet ever

Flags? Really? That's the best you can do?


Nats' Harper battling strep throat

Nats' outfielder battling strep throat while playing in NLDS.


Cardinals take Jaime Garcia off postseason roster

Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia was taken off the 2012 postseason roster after experiencing shoulder soreness during his Game 2 start against the Nationals.


Nats pitching rocked as Cards seal Game 2 win

The Washington Nationals dropped Game 2 to the St. Louis Cardinals, evening up the National League Division Series at 1-1.


Bryce Harper's very bad base-running play

The 19-year-old's mistake cost the Nationals their last chance to make Game 2 competitive


Nats struggling in Game 2, trail Cardinals 7-3

The Washington Nationals have struggled in Game 2 of the NLDS. Despite taking an early 1-0 lead, the club has received shaky pitching performances all afternoon and now trails the Cardinals, 7-3, in the fifth inning.

St. Louis scored four runs in the second inning to go up 4-1 on Jordan Zimmermann. In the bottom of the third, Allen Craig hit a solo homer to plate another run. Zimmermann departed after three innings on the mound in what was one of his worst starts of the year.

Daniel Descalso followed in the fourth with a solo homer of his own that just cleared the right-field wall. Jon Jay then drove in another run after Danny Espinosa misplayed a routine ground ball to make the score 7-1.

The Nats showed signs of life in the fifth with back-to-back solo homers from Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche. Christian Garcia allowed the first two Cardinals runners to reach in the bottom half of the frame, but was able to get out of the jam without allowing any more runs to score.


Cardinals take early 4-1 lead over Nationals

The Washington Nationals took an early lead in Monday's Game 2 of the NLDS, but a four-run second inning has given the St. Louis Cardinals a 4-1 lead.

In the bottom half of the second, David Freese hit a double to right-center field to tie the game at 1-1. Daniel Descalso then singled to right to give St. Louis a 2-1 lead. Manager Mike Matheny elected to pinch-hit for starting pitcher Jaime Garcia with runners on the corners, and pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker rewarded the move with an RBI groundout. Jon Jay followed with a single down the left field line to give the Cardinals a 4-1 lead. Jay was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double to end the inning.

Washington scored their run on a bloop single off the bat of starter Jordan Zimmermann in the top of the second. He appeared ready to bunt, but then pulled the bat back and swung away, plating Ian Desmond just ahead of Carlos Beltran's throw to home plate.

Lance Lynn came out of the bullpen and worked around a two-out single in the third to preserve St. Louis's lead.


Nats/Cardinals Game 3 set for Wednesday afternoon

The first Major League Baseball postseason game in the District of Columbia since 1933 will be played in old-style afternoon conditions.


Nats, Cardinals stick with same lineups for Game 2

Davey Johnson and Mike Matheny have not made any changes to their respective lineups for Game 2 of the NLDS


Jordan Zimmermann takes his turn in Game 2

Washington Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann looks for his first career win against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Two of the NLDS in Busch Stadium.


Nats look to take commanding 2-0 series lead

Zimmerman vs. Garcia in Game 2 of the NLDS.


Tyler Moore's clutch single gives Nats win

The Cardinals had that feeling, that look, of a team that was going to do it again. They made the playoffs on something like a court order, and they sailed through the Wild Card game after one of the better-fielding teams in baseball decided to kick the ball around. And in Game 1, they built a lead by doing little more than standing around and watching Gio Gonzalez melt down. They didn't have an extra-base hit, and they pitched around bases-loaded jams. They were going to do it again.

But the Nationals took Game1 away, winning 3-2, and proving the Cardinals didn't own the monopoly on good fortune.

The game started innocently enough for the Nationals, with Matt Holliday stranded after a two-out walk in the first. And in the top of the second, they rallied against Adam Wainwright, with Kurt Suzuki driving in a run with two outs. Wainwright walked Gio Gonzalez after that to load the bases, but Jayson Werth grounded out to short to end the threat.

In the bottom of the second, Gonzalez melted down, walking the bases loaded, and allowing the first Cardinals run to score on a wild pitch. A walk to Wainwright followed, and Jon Jay hit a sacrifice fly to put the Cards up 2-1.

That's where the score stayed. Wainwright settled down, and eventually looked fantastic, as he was the first Cardinals pitcher to strikeout more than nine batters in a postseason game since Bob Gibson in 1968. Wainwright would go 5⅔, striking out 10, and walking three.

In the bottom of the seventh, though, the Cardinals squandered an amazing chance against Craig Stammen, loading the bases on an error, a Carlos Beltran single, and a hit-by-pitch with no outs. That brought up Allen Craig, the Cardinals cleanup hitter to face Ryan Mattheus, just brought into the game. But Craig could only ground to short for a 6-2 force out on the first pitch, and on the next pitch, Yadier Molina hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the threat.

The Nationals took advantage in the top of the eighth, with Michael Morse reaching on a Pete Kozma error. Ian Desmond followed with a single, putting runners on first and third with no one out. Danny Espinosa laid down a quasi-sacrifice, almost beating it out, and putting runners on second and third. Kurt Suzuki struck out, though, and it looked like the Cardinals were going to do it again.

Then came Tyler Moore. You spend hours thinking about Matt Holliday vs. Gio Gonzalez or Tyler Clippard, going through the potential match-ups in your head, and it's Tyler Moore, pinch-hitting and throwing his bat at an outside fastball from Marc Rzepczynski that decides a game. That's exactly what Moore did, and he looped it into right, scoring two and giving the Nationals the lead.

Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen pitched the eighth and ninth inning, respectively. The Cardinals got a leadoff runner on against Clippard on a Ryan Zimmerman throwing error. Daniel Descalso bunted the runner to second for Pete Kozma with one out, which … okay. But Clippard got Matt Carpenter looking to end the inning, getting him with a fastball that was possibly in the other batter's box.

But the call was made, the Cardinals' mini-rally was over, and they went down quietly in the ninth. The Cardinals were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, and they left 10 runners on base. So much for that feeling, that look, at least for this game.

The Nationals take a 1-0 series lead, and they'll play Game 2 in St. Louis on Monday night, with Jordan Zimmermann facing off against Jaime Garcia.


Wild Gonzalez helps put St. Louis up 2-1 through 5

The St. Louis Cardinals lead the Washington Nationals, 2-1, after five innings in Game 1 of their NLDS series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Washington took an early lead in the top of the second inning when Kurt Suzuki singled home Adam LaRoche.

The lead was short lived, however, as the St. Louis Cardinals answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the second inning. After walking the bases loaded, Washington starter Gio Gonzalez continued to struggle finding the plate and walked the opposing pitcher Adam Wainwright, allowing a run to score. John Jay followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.

Despite giving up the two runs, Gonzalez has only allowed one hit to the Cardinals through five innings on the mound. Gonzalez has struggled with his control, walking seven batters, including four in that second inning. Wainwright has given up five hits through five innings, but has already struck out nine Washington batters.

The game is being broadcast on TBS.


Nats take on Cards in NLDS opener

The Washington Nationals will take on the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Sunday afternoon.


Nats NLDS roster will include eight relievers

The Washington Nationals will take on the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2012 National League Division series, beginning Sunday in St. Louis. Though not official, reports are coming in regarding the Washington roster for the series, with the biggest names being left off John Lannan and Mark DeRosa. Via Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

Amanda Comak of the Washington Times adds that three Washington players have been sent to Florida to stay prepared, in case the Nationals make the NLCS:

First pitch of Game 1 is scheduled for 3:07 p.m. ET., with Washington's Gio Gonzalez (21-8, 2.89 ERA) facing St. Louis' Adam Wainwright (14-13, 3.94 ERA). Gonzalez won his only start of the year against the Cardinals, pitching a five-hit shutout Aug. 31 at Nats Park. Wainwright was 1-1 with a 7.27 ERA against Washington this season.

UPDATE: Below is the official NLDS roster, via the Washington Post:

1. Gio Gonzalez
2. Jordan Zimmermann
3. Edwin Jackson
4. Ross Detwiler
5. Drew Storen
6. Tyler Clippard
7. Sean Burnett
8. Craig Stammen
9. Christian Garcia
10. Tom Gorzelanny
11. Michael Gonzalez
12. Ryan Mattheus
13. Jayson Werth
14. Bryce Harper
15. Ryan Zimmerman
16. Adam LaRoche
17. Michael Morse
18. Ian Desmond
19. Danny Espinosa
20. Kurt Suzuki
21. Tyler Moore
22. Steve Lombardozzi
23. Roger Bernadina
24. Chad Tracy
25. Jesus Flores


Nats and Cards have announced their NLDS rotations

The Washington Nationals, in the postseason for the first time since 1933, now know their opponent in the 2012 National League Division series, after the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Atlanta Braves 6-3 on Friday night.

Game 1 of the NLDS will be played Sunday in St. Louis, with first pitch scheduled for 3:07 p.m. ET.

Lefty Gio Gonzalez (21-8, 2.89 ERA) will be on the mound for Washington, facing Adam Wainwright (14-13, 3.94 ERA) of the Cardinals.

During Saturday's playoff press conference, the full rotations for the NLDS were announced. Washington's hurlers, via the team's official twitter feed:

The St. Louis rotation, via Mel Antonen of MASN:

Something else of note, via Amanda Comak of the Washington Times: St. Louis will have only one lefthander in the bullpen for the NLDS.

The Nationals won the season series with the defending World Series champion Cardinals, 4-3.


Braves fall to Cardinals in Wild Card play-in

The Atlanta Braves lost the NL Wild Card play-in game to the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night, 6-3. The Braves struck first, taking a 2-0 lead in the second, but St. Louis came back starting with three runs in the fourth, and Atlanta was never able to close the gap.

The Braves' best chance at a comeback came in the eighth, when a rally was disrupted by a bizarre infield fly rule call.

Matt Holliday and Peter Kozma both went for a ball in shallow left, and when Kozma made the call the infield fly rule was invoked. Kozma's placement when he made the catch was well out of the infield:



That led to a significant delay as Fredi Gonzales argued the call, then placed the game under protest. Displeased Atlanta fans littered the field with debris, resulting in further delay. Jason Motte entered for St. Louis as play finally resumed, and he walked the next batter to give the Braves the bases loaded with two outs. Michael Bourn came to the plate, but he struck out to end the inning and strand all three runners.

St. Louis went in order in the top of the ninth, leaving Atlanta's chances to Martin Prado, Jason Heyward and Chipper Jones. Motte got Prado on a groundout to second and Heyward on a flyout to left, leaving Chipper Jones at the plate with two outs. Jones, in what was likely his last at-bat, reached on a broken-bat infield single, extending the inning for the Braves. Freddie Freeman hit a ground-rule double to left center, briefly keeping the Braves alive, but Dan Uggla was unable to keep the rally going as he grounded out to end the game.

This story originally appeared on SB Nation Atlanta.

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Redskins will show Nats game at FedEx Field Sunday

The Redskins tell Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post that Game 1 of the NLDS will be shown on TVs around FedEx Field.


Nats to play Game 1 Sunday afternoon

The Washington Nationals will begin their 2012 playoffs on Sunday, Oct 7 at 3:00 pm.

They await the winner of Friday's Cardinals-Braves wild-card playoff game. The Nats will then travel to either St. Louis or Atlanta for Game 1 on Sunday.

The schedule looks like this:

Game 1: @ Atlanta/St. Louis, Sunday, Oct. 7 at 3:00 pm

Game 2: @ Atlanta/St. Louis, Monday, Oct. 8 at 4:30 pm

Game 3: @ Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 10

Game 4: (if necessary) - @ Washington, Thursday, Oct. 11

Game 5: (if necessary) - @ Washington, Friday, Oct. 12

The times for Games 3-5 have not been announced, and Games 1-2 will air on TBS. For more information about streaming these games, check out a post by Rodger Sherman.

Major League Baseball has assigned 35-year veteran umpire Joe West to this series. His crew includes Paul Emmel, Ed Hickox, Marvin Hudson, Jim Joyce and Alfonso Marquez.

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