A Look At Nationals-Cardinals After Two Games


There is nothing like the playoffs. And there is nothing like the added edge. Nationals fans were first upset at Major League Baseball for scheduling Game Three at 1pm and then at people who told them they have nothing to be upset about. The fact is, when you’re following the same schedule as the New York Yankees, you tend to be pushed to an earlier start time. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, but that’s the way Major League Baseball and TBS are playing it and in a world that ratings and money are the main language, you have a hard time arguing against that.

The Nationals and Cardinals are teams in opposite directions, even though both are coming to Washington. (Photo: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE)

However, we have more interesting things to look at. Mainly, whether this 1-1 series after two games is a good thing or a bad thing for the Nationals.

The good news? They got through two games on the road with a split and kept the home field advantage they worked so hard over the regular season to get despite the weird scheduling.

The bad news? Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann both struggled and the offense hasn’t exactly picked up the slack except for an eighth inning rally on Sunday.

The good news? They are in control of their own destiny. They need to win two of three games and all three games are at Nationals Park. The best of five that started on the road becomes a best-of-three at home.

The bad news? The Nationals are set to face Chris Carpenter and Kyle Lohse (presumably) the next two days. For a struggling offense, that’s not very good news.

The good news? Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler are both capable of putting together a solid start to reverse the string of bad starts from Nationals pitchers.

The bad news? Jackson and Detwiler were the ones who started the slide of bad starts.

As you can tell, this is clearly a good news/bad news scenario. The series is still up for grabs and the Nationals are better placed then they would be if it was a 1-1 tie going to St. Louis like a normal NLDS would go. Coming home to a raucous crowd can be what cures the Nationals. After two days of seeing enemy red in the crowd, they will see the friendly red that comes with Nationals Park. Having the home field could be what makes the difference but a lot of factors are in play.

After Game 1, the pressure was squarely on the Cardinals to get a split at home. With Game 3 upon us after today’s off day, a new series starts anew. For a team with little playoff experience, they turn to their starter with the most playoff experience in Jackson. Things didn’t go well the last time he faced off with his former team. This time, the stakes are higher.