Washington Nationals: Five To Watch Versus St. Louis Cardinals

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Apr 9, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) celebrates his game-tying, pinch-hit three run home run during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Nationals, 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) celebrates his game-tying, pinch-hit three run home run during the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Nationals, 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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With the Washington Nationals returning home to face the St. Louis Cardinals, here are five players to watch. Can the Nats shake off the bad weekend?

If you are to have a lost weekend—as the Washington Nationals did—it is better to get it out of the way early.

The Nats stumbled around Philadelphia like a reveler after the Mummer’s Parade. The bullpen gave away a tremendous comeback Sunday, nearly did the same Friday while the whole team took one on the chin Saturday.

These things happen over the course of 162 games. Even the best of teams have series fans forget quickly. Most of the time, there is a day off and the next team arrives. Not this time.

The ride from Philly to Washington is short. Awaiting the Nats are the St. Louis Cardinals. If you fretted over the bullpen against the Phillies, may we suggest a trip to your local Giant for the family size bottle of Maalox.

The Cards are in town for their only regular season visit, a three-game affair Monday and Tuesday nights with a late afternoon clash Wednesday. Tickets are still available.

Because baseball is a daily sport, the bitter disappointment of one day turns potentially into excitement the next. The offense for Washington is in good shape; the pitching is another story.

Before the chance to exact revenge on the Philadelphia Phillies next weekend, the next three against the Cards comes into focus. The Nats need two out of three to regain the momentum they carried after the opening series with the Miami Marlins.

It seems cliché to say there are big games in April, but this series comes close. Here are five players to watch as the Nats battle the Cardinals.

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