In the first MLB playoff game in Washington D.C. since 1933, things certainly did not go as planned for the home team. The scene was all set: a sellout crowd decked out in red, a ceremonial first pitch by the still-beloved first manager of the team after the move to the District, and a flyover by a quartet of F-16s. Unfortunately, the Washington Nationals that took the field could not complete the day, as for the second game in a row the St. Louis Cardinals dominated every facet of the game, beating the Nats 8-0, to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five National League Division Series.
As it turns out, the highlight of the day for the Nats was former manager Frank Robinson throwing out the ceremonial first pitch of the game, finally getting his curtain call from the organization that he meant so much to, first in Montreal, then in the first two seasons after the move to the District in 2005.
As for the play on the field, well, there wasn’t a whole lot to talk about. The Nats managed to play a cleaner game than the mess that was Game 2 in St. Louis, but the result was quite the same. Starter Edwin Jackson gave up four runs in the second inning, Craig Stammen and Ryan Mattheus provided little relief, and the Nats hitters stayed dormant with runners in scoring position.
Jackson calmed down after giving up four in the second, but the Nats bats just couldn’t help him out at all. In total, the righty allowed eight hits and one walk, striking out four in five innings. The most damaging blow against Jackson was a three-run home run by No. 8 hitter Pete Kozma, who’s hit two home runs in 89 MLB at bats over two seasons.
But the Nats stranded 10 runners through the sixth inning and didn’t have another one reach after that point until Jayson Werth’s walk with two outs in the ninth.
Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter got the win, going 5 2/3 inning of shut out ball, allowing seven hits and two walks, striking out two.
We’ll have more coverage of the Nats 8-0 loss later at District Sports Page.
Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Nats and the Caps, and previously wrote Nats News Network and Caps News Network. Dave’s first sports hero was Bobby Dandridge. Follow Dave’s Nationals coverage on Twitter @NationalsDSP.