Apr 10, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) in the dugout during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
The National League Division Series
The St. Louis Cardinals, fresh off of beating the Atlanta Braves in the first ever NL Wild Card game, came into the series hot and ready to take on the No. 1 seed Nationals. The potent lineup consisting of Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday, and Carlos Beltran ranked 2nd in the National League in runs scored. Their rotation was a force to be reckoned with as well, as the tandem of Adam Wainwright, Kyle Lohse, Lance Lynn, and Jake Westbrook helped lead the Cardinal starters to a 3.62 starters ERA, 3rd in the NL. Keep in mind that the first two games of this series were played in St. Louis, with the last three games played at Nats Park.
Game 1: Nationals 3 Cardinals 2
-Ian Desmond went 3-for-4 with a run scored, Michael Morse went 1-for-4 with an RBI and Tyler Moore had a two-out, two-RBI single in the 8th inning to win the game
-Gio Gonzalez got a no decision after yielding two earned runs, one hit, seven walks, and five strikeouts over five innings.
-Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright went 5.2 innings in which he gave up one earned run, six hits, three walks, and ten strikeouts
-Drew Storen pitched a 1-2-3 9th to earn the save
Game 2: Nationals 4 Cardinals 12
– Even in a loss, Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, Adam LaRoche went 1-for-4 with a home run as well.
–Jordan Zimmermann earned the loss as he gave up five earned runs on seven hits. He did not walk a batter and he struck out two over the course of three innings.
-Lance Lynn got the win despite not starting the game and giving up two earned runs on three hits, striking out five batters, and walking one in three innings of relief.
Game 3: Cardinals 8 Nationals 0
-Jon Jay went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, Matt Holliday went 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs and Pete Kozma went 1-for-5 with one home run and three RBIs in the win.
-Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-4 and Ian Desmond went 3-for-4. However, the Nationals stranded 11 runners in the loss.
-Starter Edwin Jackson pitched 5 innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits. He struck out four batters and walked one.
– St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter pitched 5.2 innings of shutout baseball, scattering seven hits and walking two while striking out two.
Game 4: Cardinals 1 Nationals 2
-Adam LaRoche went 1-for-2 with his second home run of the series, but it was Jayson Werth‘s walk-off home run off Lance Lynn in the bottom of the 9th inning that sent the Nats to a Game 5.
–Ross Detwiler gave up one run (0 ER) over six innings on three hits. He walked three batters and struck out two.
-Kyle Lohse pitched seven innings, giving up the Laroche home run on two hits. He struck out five and walked one in the no-decision.
Game 5: Cardinals 9 Nationals 7
-Let’s cut right to the chase: Up 7-5, the Nationals sent Drew Storen to the mound to close the game and send the Nats to the NLCS. Storen blew the save, giving up four earned runs on three hits and walking two batters.
-Adam Wainwright only pitched 2.1 innings after making the start, giving up six earned runs on seven hits. He struck out five batters, did not walk anyone, and gave up three home runs. Those three homers were hit by Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper, and Michael Morse.
-For the Cardinals, Carlos Beltran went 3-for-4 and scored two runs, Pete Kozma went 2-for-5 with two RBIs, including the game winning two-run single against Storen, and Daniel Descalso went 3-for-5 with a home run, three runs scored, and three RBIs.
-In the heartbreaking loss, Bryce Harper went 2-for-5 with a homer, two runs scored, and two RBIs, Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Plus, catcher Kurt Suzuki went 3-for-4.
The Nationals finished the season with a bitter taste in their mouths, so close to the NLCS, yet coming up with nothing. Since that series, the Nats are 2-11 against the Cardinals. As the 2015 Nationals get set to face them in their first three game series of the season, the players look ahead to put their past struggles behind them and take down their National League foe.