NLDS GAME 3: Warriors Of The Postseason
Bryce Harper wore gaudy, Indian facepaint on Monday afternoon, but today the Cardinals showed the kid what it means to be a real warrior in the postseason. Led by Chris Carpenter, the greatest postseason pitcher since Bob Gibson, the Cardinals mercilessly battered the upstart Nationals with a commanding 8-0 victory at Nationals Park. The Cardinals now enjoy a 2-1 lead in the series and their best starters coming up next.
DO NOT GO QUIETLY: Chris Carpenter took the mound today just mere weeks after willing himself to recover from surgery. His mission? Subdue the Nationals and firmly turn the momentum in the Cardinals’ direction. Nobody really knew what to expect from Carp on this elevated stage after just three decent starts following surgery. But Carpenter reminded everyone in baseball that, when the game is on the line, he is the pitcher you want leading the charge. The Nationals kicked him around, amassing seven hits and two walks. But they could not break him. In the postseason, Carpenter cannot be broken. He’s now a startling 10-2 in postseason appearances for his career after a 5.2 inning shutout today. Try to find a better postseason starter since Gibson, and I will laugh in your face.
OH, AND THIS: Carpenter also went 2-3 at the plate, including a double off the wall that missed going out of the ballpark by about five inches. After the second hit, I was ready to start a new religion around that guy. I’d rather be a “Carpenterite” than anything else!
ACTION FOR JACKSON: The Cardinals really teed off on former World Series ally Edwin Jackson today. Jackson had hit teeth knocked out, as the Cardinals smashed him for eight hits and four runs in five innings. It could’ve been worse. I bet Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is wishing he hadn’t shut down Stephen Strasburg after this brutal assault on Jackson.
BIG HITS: How do you summarize the offense today? A 14-hit attack lacerated every pitcher the Nationals tossed out there; they looked like Christians being fed to lions. Matt Holliday had the best day, going 3-5 with three RBI’s and scoring once before coming out with a contusion on his left leg from a foul tip. Jon Jay finally contributed with two hits, as did a boiling Beltran. However, the biggest hit came from little Pete Kozma, who Wiffleballed a titanic three-run homer to murder the Nationals in the second inning.
JUNK: Nationals Park cost $611 million dollars to build, but they have a chain-link fence for an outfield wall. Seriously?
GET HIM OUT: Can somebody please retire Ian Desmond? He’s hitting .583 in this series after a 3-4 performance today.
THE FUTURE: The Cardinals showed off some exciting arms after Carpenter left the game in the sixth. Trevor Rosenthal came in for 1.1 innings of 100 mph fastballs, allowing no hits or runs. Then came Fernando Salas, who pitched a hitless eighth. Then Joe Kelly closed it out with a hitless ninth. We are STACKED with talent! Even if we don’t end up winning the World Series this year, we have the talent to compete for it for years to come with these guys coming up!
PLAYER OF THE GAME: I’ll give it to Carpenter, who gutted through six inspirational innings and 106 pitches. The wind has now turned in our favor thanks to him!
CONCLUSION: It’s clear in this series that experience has served as the 26th man for the Cardinals. The Nationals looked overmatched at this altitude, while the Cardinals have calmly dissected them at almost every turn. This was a decisive victory that has surely deflated the National League’s best team in the regular season. These postseason warriors have no intention of giving up their prize now!