The Nats lost three games this season as badly as they lost Game 2. Their most recent came just six games ago, as they dropped a 12-2 laugher against, you guess it, the St. Louis Cardinals. Monday night, the Cards gave the Nationals a repeat performance, piling on homer after homer against the Nationals’ pitching staff. Jordan Zimmermann had a rough night, lasting just 3 innings, and surrendering 5 runs to the Cardinals offense.
Usually dependable, the Nationals’ bullpen was less than rock steady, with Craig Stammen, Michael Gonzalez and Sean Burnett combining to give up seven more earned runs, including three home runs. Carlos Beltran hit two for the Cards, combining for around 830+ feet of damage to the Nationals’ psyche.
The Nationals got in their own way, though, leaving nine runners aboard and going just 1-7 with runners in scoring position. The only hit? Jordan Zimmermann in the second, with a deke bunt attempt turned into a raking single that brought around Ian Desmond to give the Nationals their only lead. Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche added back to back home runs in the fifth inning, and that would be it for the Nationals, but for a sacrifice fly in the seventh to score the last of their four runs.
Bryce Harper continues to struggle in the postseason, but he picked up his first hit on Monday night, a double off Mujica in the seventh, only to be picked off attempting to advance on a sacrifice fly that scored Jayson Werth. Harper is 1-10 with six strikeouts on the series so far. Danny Espinosa is also struggling, 1-6 on the series so far.
The Nationals return home on Wednesday, with Edwin Jackson on the bump, starting at 1pm.