By Mike Frandsen
The St. Louis Cardinals’ 12-4 drubbing of the Washington Nationals Monday tied the National League Division Series at a game apiece. When the teams take the field at Nationals Park for Game 3 Wednesday, it’ll be the first time a D.C. major league baseball team has hosted a playoff game in 79 years.
Edwin Jackson (10-11, 4.03 ERA) will take the mound for Washington, while Chris Carpenter (0-2, 3.71) will pitch for St. Louis.
Starters for Game 4 Thursday are expected to be Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.86) for St. Louis and Ross Detwiler (10-8, 3.40) for Washington.
Jackson pitched Game 4 of the World Series last October for the Cardinals, but lost after giving up three runs over 5 1/3 innings. Overall in postseason play, the right-handed fastball pitcher is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in 22 innings.
Carpenter was 4-0 in the 2011 playoffs for the World Series champion Cards. The right-hander missed most of this season after arm surgery and threw only 17 innings during the regular season. The 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner is 9-2 all time in the playoffs, with a 3.05 ERA in 94 innings.
The Nationals stole Game 1, 3-2 after scoring two runs in the 8th inning. The top of the Nats lineup has been silent in the series, while Nats pitching has been uneven.
Washington will need to tighten up its defense. The Nats have committed four errors in the two games.
The Cardinals pitching has been strong both games, and after a slow start, their bats woke up in Game 2.
Who are the top performers so far in the NLDS? Who has failed to meet expectations? It’s still early, but here are the studs and duds for the two teams after the first two games.
Studs: Washington Nationals
- Ian Desmond, shortstop. Desmond is batting .500 in the series with two runs scored.
- Michael Morse, left fielder. Morse is batting .375.
- Ryan Zimmerman, third baseman. Zimmerman is hitting .333 with a home run.
- Ryan Mattheus, relief pitcher. Mattheus has pitched an inning in each game, giving up no runs.
Studs: St. Louis Cardinals
- David Freese, third baseman. The 2011 World Series MVP is batting .429.
- Carlos Beltran, right fielder. Beltran is hitting .375 with two home runs.
- Adam Wainwright, starting pitcher. The Cards’ starter for Game 1 had a 1.59 ERA in 5 2/3 innings.
Duds: Washington Nationals
- Bryce Harper, center fielder. The 19-year old rookie phenom is 1-10 with six strikeouts. He was also thrown out at third base on a sacrifice fly in Game 2.
- Jayson Werth, right fielder. The 126 million dollar man is 2-9 with five strikeouts.
- Jordan Zimmermann, starting pitcher. The Nats’ starter for Game 2 was shelled for five earned runs in three innings.
- Craig Stammen, reliever. The right-hander has an ERA of 13.50 after 1.1 innings pitched.
Duds: St. Louis Cardinals
- Matt Holliday, left field. Holliday is 0-7 thus far in the series.
Mike Frandsen is a freelance writer covering all things Redskins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.