Where are we . . . The Washington Nationals took a 1-0 series lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis. The Nationals will look to go up 2-0 on the road tomorrow at 4:37PM. Jordan Zimmermann finished the season 12-8 with a 2.94 ERA. He takes the mounds for the Nats tomorrow.
Critical Defense . . . What a big seventh inning for the Nats defense. With the bases loaded and no outs, Ian Desmond took a hard grounder and got a force out at home to grab the first out. Next batter delivered a grounder to Ryan Zimmerman who started a 6-4-3 double play and got the Nationals out of the inning unscathed. Kudos to reliever Ryan Matheus, who inherited the bases loaded mess from Craig Stammen, and forced the two ground outs.
Great call . . . By Manager Davey Johnson. With Chad Tracy announced as the pinch hitter in the 8th inning, Johnson instead chose to go with rookie Tyler Moore. Smart call. Moore delievered the game winning, two RBI single.
Who's up . . . Ian Desmond belted out three hits and played some excellent defense. Desmond also scored the game winning run on Moore's eight inning single. Ryan Matheus forced two ground balls to deliver the Nats three outs with the bases loaded and no outs. Moore is a pinch hitting hero in Game one. Who's not . . . Danny Espinosa recorded three whiffs at the plate. Espinosa can have a powerful swing and can deliver runs in bunches. However, today he looked reminiscient of April when he was struggling at the plate. Gio Gonzalez pitched 5 innings and yielded 7 walks. Thats right. Seven walks. Jayson Werth also recorded 3 whiffs at the plate including once with the bases jammed. Werth needs to deliever under those circumstances. That's why he gets paid the big bucks.
Clutch artists . . . Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen were masterful after the Nats gained the lead. Just as planned. Clippard threw 16 pitches in a scoreless 8th inning to gain a hold and turn the game over to closer Drew Storen. It took Storen just ten pitches to send the Cards to the showers and record his first major league playoff save. That save included a big time, final strikeout of Matt Holiday.