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St. Louis Cardinals fall 3-2 to Nationals in Game 1, trip all the 2012 Cardinals stereotypes

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The St. Louis Cardinals fall 3-2 to the Washington Nationals in a game that hit all our anxieties at once.

Jamie Squire - Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals failed to hit with runners in scoring position multiple times throughout the game; they had bullpen problems that seemed borne, in part, of weird management of the available personnel; they dealt with a crucial error from Pete Kozma, who wasn't even supposed to be here today; and they bunted away one of their last six outs for the chance to remove David Freese from the game and get Adron Chambers to second base. I think that about covers all the things we've worried about this year.

They lost to the Washington Nationals by a final score of 3-2, but I think this was a particularly solipsism-inducing loss for most Cardinals fans; the other team was immaterial, inasmuch as these Cardinals were able to show off every last flaw we excoriated them for, sometimes fairly, sometimes unfairly.

It's a frustrating loss because the Nationals, themselves, were trying as hard as they could to lose it. Gio Gonzalez, a former top prospect who's bounced around in part because of concerns about his command, walked seven batters, and their offense was almost equally impotent once it set things up. One team had to pay for its mistakes, and it was almost the Nationals. Playing a very good team in a best-of-five series, those are the kinds of edges that feel devastating to lose.