|WASHINGTON ( ZIMMERMANN )|
ST LOUIS ( GARCIA )
|NL Division Series - Best of 5 - Game 2 - Was Leads 1-0|
|917||WASHINGTON||+105||Ov 7.5,+105||-105||Ov 7.5,+110|
|918||ST LOUIS||-115||Un 7.5,-125||-105||Un 7.5,-130|
|vs Left-handed Starters||29-19||+6.7||26-21||4.6||0.259||0.316||3.8||0.233||0.305|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+0.6||3-4||3.4||0.246||0.301||4.7||0.252||0.338|
|vs Right-handed Starters||58-57||-13.2||51-60||4.3||0.264||0.326||3.9||0.250||0.306|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+1.3||3-4||4.0||0.249||0.316||3.0||0.235||0.282|
|9/25/2012||DETWILER(L)||@ PHILADELPHIA||HAMELS(L)||3-6||L||130||7.5 ev||O||8||6||0||7||6||0|
|9/26/2012||LANNAN(L)||@ PHILADELPHIA||KENDRICK(R)||8-4||W||110||8.5 un||O||9||4||1||8||7||1|
|9/27/2012||GONZALEZ(L)||@ PHILADELPHIA||CLOYD(R)||7-3||W||-135||7.5 ev||O||9||6||0||7||7||0|
|9/28/2012||JACKSON(R)||@ ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)||2-12||L||125||7.5 un||O||6||8||1||11||5||0|
|9/29/2012||ZIMMERMANN(R)||@ ST LOUIS||LOHSE(R)||6-4||W||105||7.5 un||O||13||10||0||11||7||0|
|9/30/2012||DETWILER(L)||@ ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)||4-10||L||135||8 un||O||7||5||1||12||8||0|
|10/7/2012||GONZALEZ(L)||@ ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)||3-2||W||105||7 ov||U||8||10||1||3||10||1|
|10/8/2012||ZIMMERMANN(R)||@ ST LOUIS||GARCIA(L)|| |
|10/10/2012||JACKSON(R)||ST LOUIS||CARPENTER(R)|| |
|9/24/2012||LYNN(R)||@ HOUSTON||ABAD(L)||6-1||W||-210||8 ov||U||9||7||0||6||7||3|
|9/25/2012||GARCIA(L)||@ HOUSTON||HARRELL(R)||4-0||W||-145||8 un||U||9||10||1||7||5||0|
|9/26/2012||CARPENTER(R)||@ HOUSTON||NORRIS(R)||0-2||L||-180||8 ov||U||3||4||1||5||4||1|
|10/5/2012||LOHSE(R)||@ ATLANTA||MEDLEN(R)||6-3||W||155||6.5 ov||O||6||2||0||12||12||1|
|10/10/2012||CARPENTER(R)||@ WASHINGTON||JACKSON(R)|| |
|WASHINGTON: HITTING: The Nats were among the eight worst teams in the majors in runs (3.88 per game), BA (.242), OBP (.309) and OPS (.691). Much of that had to do with the first two spots in the batting order hitting .285 OBP and .283 OBP respectively. OF ROGER BERNADINA (.301 OBP) and SS IAN DESMOND (.298 OBP) were the regular 1-2 hitters in the order. $126 million OF JAYSON WERTH was also to blame, batting .232 with a meager 58 RBI in 561 at-bats. 3B RYAN ZIMMERMAN also missed two months with an abdominal problem and had a down year with 12 HR and 49 RBI in 101 games. But OF MIKE MORSE had a breakout season, leading the Nats in batting (.303), HR (31) and RBI (95). 1B ADAM LaROCHE suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in June, but should be fully healed. Washington is counting on a pair of talented 24-year-olds to contribute a little more in 2B DANNY ESPINOSA (.236 BA, 21 HR) and C WILSON RAMOS (15 HR in 389 AB). |
STARTING PITCHING: STEPHEN STRASBURG is back fully healed from Tommy John surgery, but will reportedly be limited to 160 innings in 2012. That's still enough time to strike out 150 batters and win a dozen games though. In sending four quality prospects to Oakland, the Nats paid a huge price for GIO GONZALEZ. They hope he can overcome his control issues and become an elite No. 2. Well-traveled EDWIN JACKSON was also brought in to help bolster the rotation. He joins his sixth different club since 2008, but Jackson is just 28 years old and was serviceable after being traded to St. Louis last year (5-2, 3.58 ERA). JORDAN ZIMMERMANN was in the same boat as Strasburg last year, coming off elbow surgery and limited to 161.1 innings. But in that time, he had a team-best 3.18 ERA and 4.0 K-to-BB ratio (124 K, 31 BB). JOHN LANNAN remains the top lefty in the Nats rotation with a team-high 10 wins in 2011. He dominated left-handed hitters last year (.211 BA, 55 K in 185 AB), but still needs to improve his weak 1.4 K-to-BB ratio (106 K, 76 BB).
RELIEF PITCHING: DREW STOREN had a phenomenal first year as a full-time closer, saving 43-of-48 games with a 2.75 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 74 K in 75.1 innings. His role will remain the same in 2012 once he returns from the 15-day DL (elbow) to start the season. Newcomer BRAD LIDGE was limited to 25 innings because of shoulder problems last year, but he appears to be the closer until Storen returns. The Nats have arguably the best set-up man in the game in TYLER CLIPPARD, who led the majors with 38 holds and posted a 1.83 ERA and 0.84 WHIP for the season. He held opponents to a .162 average and fanned 104 batters in 88.1 innings of work. Lefty SEAN BURNETT saw a huge decline in his numbers, as his ERA rose from 2.14 to 3.81 and his WHIP jumped from 1.14 to 1.32. This was mostly due to a diminishing strikeout rate (8.9 to 5.2 last year).
|ST LOUIS: HITTING: Alienate and trade your talented young centerfielder for bullpen scraps and a middling, impending free-agent starter. Justify your ludicrous pitching changes by blaming crowd noise and your innocent bullpen coach'and you too could win a World Series! This was Tony La Russa baseball. But he's gone now, as is the all-world Albert Pujols. SS RAFAEL FURCAL liked his short stint in the Show Me State enough to sign up for more. OF CARLOS BELTRAN will hit second after an impressive 2011 campaign during which he produced solid numbers in pitchers' parks amidst weak lineups. 2Bs TYLER GREENE and DANIEL DESCALSO are the latest plucky 'gamer' to play infield at Busch. Resuscitated slugger 1B LANCE BERKMAN shifts to a much more suitable defensive position. OF MATT HOLLIDAY's OPS remains as strong as ever. 3B DAVID FREESE will never have to buy a drink in Missouri again after his postseason heroics. C YADIER MOLINA is a defensive whiz behind the plate and an underrated hitter. OFs ALLEN CRAIG and JON JAY are more suited to platoon roles, but Jay will be starting in center on Opening Day. |
STARTING PITCHING: His stuff isn't nearly what it used to be, and he's more than earned his reputation within the game as a towering crybaby. But on the mound, CHRIS CARPENTER remains ruthlessly effective when he's healthy. But he'll miss the first couple of months of the 2012 campaign due to shoulder problems. ADAM WAINWRIGHT should be ready to go on Opening Day, and has shown every reason to think he'll be his old brilliant self. JAIME GARCIA cannot sustain a sub-2.00 ERA for a full season. He's a mid-rotation starter, but one of the better ones in all of baseball. Did KYLE LOHSE really register a 1.17 WHIP over an entire season? Really? He just doesn't miss enough bats to keep that going. JAKE WESTBROOK stayed healthy for a full season again, which is a relief given his past dalliances with the DL. He's an innings eater who's capable of another dozen wins. LANCE LYNN gives the Cardinals enviable depth in the rotation. He'll probably slide back to the bullpen once Carpenter returns. Uber-prospect SHELBY MILLER could be a second-half call-up.
RELIEF PITCHING: It doesn't look pretty when JASON MOTTE winds up and delivers a pitch, but in the end, results are results. The converted catcher has finally nailed down the closer role that many predicted would be his a few years ago. The only way he loses it this time is if he hurts himself with that painful delivery. FERNANDO SALAS can more than hold his own if that happens. He'll slot into the eighth-inning role, but he provides more of the pitching depth that is a hallmark of this Cardinals team. KYLE McCLELLAN, like Lynn, is serviceable both in relief or in the rotation. But he's better in the former role.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (WASHINGTON-ST LOUIS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Nationals-Cardinals Preview* =============================
By ALAN FERGUSON STATS Writer
Washington (98-64) at St. Louis (88-74), 4:37 p.m. EDT
The Washington Nationals hardly looked like postseason newcomers while grinding out a close win over the defending World Series champions.
The Nationals now seek to head home with a commanding lead in their NL division series, and Jordan Zimmermann will try to help by overcoming a rocky history against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2 on Monday.
Making the franchise's second playoff appearance and first since 1981, Washington calmly rallied for a 3-2 victory Sunday. The Nationals shut out the Cardinals after the second inning and worked their way out of a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the seventh before Tyler Moore drove in the tying and go-ahead runs on a two-out, pinch-hit single in the eighth.
"Not many people have probably watched too many Nationals games, but we have a great starting rotation and a great bullpen," said shortstop Ian Desmond, who had three singles and scored a run. "They keep us in the ballgame and some timely hits from this kid, and the rest of the guys coming off the bench, that's really been the formula."
Washington will try to head into the first postseason game in the nation's capital since 1933 with a 2-0 lead in the series, and Zimmermann (12-8, 2.94 ERA) is looking to aid that cause by avoiding another miserable performance against St. Louis. He's 0-2 with a 9.12 ERA in five career matchups with the Cardinals, easily his worst showing against any opponent.
St. Louis tagged Zimmermann for a career-high eight runs over a season-low 3 2-3 innings Sept. 1 in Washington, although the right-hander was better at Busch Stadium in his final regular-season start Sept. 29, allowing three runs over 6 1-3 innings in the Nationals' 6-4, 10-inning victory.
The hitters on the Cardinals' playoff roster are a combined 26 for 69 (.377) against him with Yadier Molina going 5 for 11.
"It's going to be tough to shut them completely down," Zimmermann told the Nationals' official website. "They are going to get their runs, but you've just got to keep it to a minimum and try to get out of jams as best you can when you're in a tight spot."
While Zimmermann, who went 3-0 with a 2.61 ERA over his final five starts, will be making his postseason debut, Jaime Garcia (7-7, 3.92) will pitch in his sixth playoff game since the beginning of last October. He went 0-2 with a 4.21 ERA in five starts during the Cardinals' championship run, but the worst of those came on the road and he allowed only six runs over 21 2-3 innings in St. Louis.
"It definitely helps a little bit because you've been out there in a situation like we are right now," he said. "You take what you learned from last year, but you know, I'm just going to try to do the same thing that I try to do every time I go out there. I just give my best and give my team a chance to win. That's all I basically worry about."
Like Zimmermann, Garcia also ended the regular season with some momentum, prevailing in three straight starts and putting up a 2.10 ERA over his final four. He's 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA in his last four home outings.
Garcia, though, gave up six runs and nine hits over 5 1-3 innings in his only matchup with Washington this season Aug. 30. The left-hander's start at Nationals Park was his third following a stint on the 60-day disabled list with a sprained throwing shoulder.
"It's one of those things where they had a really good lineup and a really good team, and made a couple mistakes and paid the consequences," he said.
Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Jayson Werth and Michael Morse have four hits apiece off Garcia, going a combined 16 for 40 (.400).
|Last Updated: 9/20/2014 1:00:54 PM EST|