Cardinals lead the series 2-1
WP: Ryan Mattheus (1 - 0)
SV: Drew Storen
LP: Mitchell Boggs (0 - 1)
|2 - 3 loss|
WP: Lance Lynn (1 - 0)
LP: Jordan Zimmermann (0 - 1)
|12 - 4 win|
WP: Chris Carpenter (1 - 0)
LP: Edwin Jackson (0 - 1)
|8 - 0 win|
|2012 - Kyle Lohse||16-3||34||33||0||0||0||0||211.0||192||74||67||19||38||143||2.86||1.09|
|2012 - Ross Detwiler||10-8||33||27||0||0||0||0||164.1||149||75||62||15||52||105||3.40||1.22|
until this series, the nationals had not played any postseason games since they used to sing "o canada!" at the beginning of each game. until yesterday, for decades and decades, washington, d.c. had not been the home to a postseason game.
a long-suffering franchise in a long-suffering baseball town finally had the season they'd awaited for years. whatever happens today, it's exciting to see the hapless turn hopeful. they did so in triumphant fashion, finishing with 98 wins, more than any other team in baseball.
they have an outstanding core of interesting players - most controversially, maybe the best one is not here today - which should make them contenders in a weakening NL East for quite some time. i don't think they're playing in their only postseason for a while, and i don't think this is the last time we'll face them in the postseason for a while.
for all that i probably would not enjoy having lunch with bryce harper, i think he's amazing to watch. he has just outstanding speed combined with some really good instincts. whether it's watching him stretch a single into a double, steal a base, or patrol the outfield, he is a legitimately exciting player to watch.
ryan zimmerman has long been an unheralded favorite of mine. although it seems like his shoulder woes are finally catching up with him, he's been worth an amazing 21.5 WAR over the last four seasons, tenth overall in baseball in those four seasons.
jordan zimmermann looks very sharp, like a bona fide #2 or #3 pitcher. he was a 3+ WAR pitcher both last season and this season, and i hope he stays healthy. his signature control (5.7% BB rate for his career) makes him a quietly successful starter.
i had my doubts about the gio gonzalez trade when it was first made, but you can't argue with gonzalez's first season as an excellent first installment on the talent that washington sent to oakland. gio gonzalez, along with r.a. dickey, is a frontrunner in the cy young consideration this year. after a lot of years of struggling with control and a walk rate that offset a lot of his value, gonzalez finally turned in a full season with a walk rate under 10%.
stephen strasburg, whose absence from this game is maybe its most conspicuous aspect, is another young player who is just unendingly exciting to watch, much like bryce harper. strasburg had the best k/9, the best k%, the best SIERA, and the best xFIP of any pitcher with 100 or more innings this season. that's just stunning talent.
given that talent level, i grasp the nationals reluctance to push him beyond a conservative innings-pitched threshold, especially considering that his TJ surgery took place following an understandably rushed progress to the majors that was somewhat short on conditioning. even if there's a lot of uncertainty in their determinations, i don't disagree with their decisions to limit his innings.
i do question their decision not to remove him from the rotation on september 1, to leave some innings on his arm for the postseason. instead, he ended up pitching (mostly poorly) in a few games that mostly padded their lead over atlanta. that decision-making has worked out well for us.
that said, let's crush these jerks and head to the NLCS.