Washington Nationals (-105, 7.5) at St. Louis Cardinals
Washington leads series 1-0
The Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals combined to leave 20 runners on base in Game 1 of the National League Division Series. It seemed like the only player that didn’t leave anyone on was Tyler Moore, whose go-ahead two-run single gave the Nationals the lead and eventually a 1-0 lead in the series.
The Cardinals have not lost back-to-back games since Sept. 14-15 and will attempt to even the series when they host Game 2 on Monday. St. Louis totaled just three hits in Game 1 but still had the lead in the eighth inning before an error by shortstop Pete Kozma began a two-run rally, capped by Moore’s single. The Cardinals lost the first game of both the NLDS and the NLCS on the road last season before bouncing back to take Game 2.
This time, however, St. Louis is starting with the first two games at home before finishing with three straight in Washington. The Nationals have held opponents to two runs or less in four straight games dating back to the regular season and have a chance to grab a commanding 2-0 lead behind Jordan Zimmermann.
TV: 4:37 p.m. ET, TBS
WEATHER: The forecast is calling for clear skies and temperatures in the high 50s. Winds are expected to blow south at 6 mph.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals LH Jaime Garcia (7-7, 3.92 ERA) vs. Nationals RH Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 2.94)
Garcia missed over two month during the regular season with a shoulder strain but hit his stride down the stretch, going 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA over his last four starts. The left-hander struck out 21 and issued only four walks in that span. Garcia struggled at Washington on Aug. 30, getting pounded for six runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings to absorb the loss. Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth both homered off Garcia in that game. He is 2-1 with a 3.74 ERA in four career starts against the Nationals and went 0-2 with a 4.21 ERA in five starts during the 2011 postseason.
Zimmermann was equally dominant down the stretch, going 3-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his last five turns. The 26-year-old’s final start came against St. Louis on Sept. 29, and he allowed three runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings without factoring in the decision. That was a much better effort than his Sept. 1 turn against the Cardinals, when Zimmermann was lit up for eight runs and eight hits in just 3 2/3 innings. He surrendered home runs to David Freese and Matt Holliday in that turn and is 0-2 with a 9.12 ERA in five career starts against St. Louis.
* Over is 4-0 in Zimmermanns last four starts vs. Cardinals.
* Over is 9-2 in the last 11 meetings.
* Nationals are 8-3 in the last 11 meetings.
* Over is 5-2 in the last seven meetings in St. Louis.
* Nationals are 8-24 in the last 32 meetings in St. Louis.
1. The Washington franchise had not won a playoff game since the Montreal Expos took Game 3 of the 1981 NLCS.
2.Neither team recorded an extra-base hit in Game 1, the first time that had happen in a playoff game since the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 1-0 on Oct. 15, 1999.
3. Freese went 2-for-4 on Sunday, bumping his career postseason average to .391 (27-for-69).