Remember the season but forget tonight

This one really, really hurts. (Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

After one of the best seasons in D.C. baseball history, the end came via one of the worst losses in D.C. baseball history. Fans and media members will spend weeks, months, years trying to sort out exactly what happened, and where Friday’s loss fits into the history of awful Washington sports collapses. 

At the same time, fans and media members will spend an awful long time piecing through the great moments this season produced, including a few from this series. 

“I don’t think the Nationals have anything to hang their heads about,” Bob Brenly said at the end of the TBS broadcast. 

But Game 5? Let’s forget about this one for a while. Thanks for following it with us, anyhow.

Kozma: ‘We never give up’

Cardinals scrap meister Pete Kozma calmly discussed his team’s epic comeback during a post-game appearance on TBS.

“We never give up,” he said. “I mean, they teach us that from the very beginning. Yeah, that’s a good ballclub. So? We’re a good ballclub too. You can’t give up.”


Cardinals win it as Nationals collapse in ninth

The Nationals were one single solitary strike away from the National League Championship Series, but the last out proved the most difficult to get.

Back to back two-run singles from Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma – the biggest thorns in the Nationals’ collective side outside of Carlos Beltran all series – tied the game and then gave the Cardinals the lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, before an utterly stunned and silent crown, Jason Motte got Jayson Werth to flyout, Bryce Harper to strike out swinging and Ryan Zimmerman to pop out to end the game and Washington’s season in devastating fashion. The defending World Series champions move on and the Nats’ dream season is over.

Historic comeback

From ESPN: “According to Elias, no team has come back from more than 4 runs down to win a winner-take-all postseason game.”

From WUSA’s Kevin Jones: “I’m down in the tunnel…The champagne was just wheeled from the Nats locker room to the Cardinals …… “

From Jon Weisman: “Five times that inning Storen threw the ball needing only one strike to win the series.”


Pete Kozma’s two-run single gives St. Louis 9-7 lead

David Freese and Daniel Delscalso scored on Pete Kozma’s single. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The bottom of the Cardinals’ order has killed the Nats all series long. Down to their final out, Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma have delivered once again with back-to-back two-run singles.

St. Louis now leads 9-7 and Nationals Park has grown deathly silent.

The Nats will send the top of the order to the plate in the bottom of the 9th.

Delscalso’s two-run single pulls St. Louis even

Daniel Delscalso does it again for the Cardinals, driving in Beltran and pinch runner Adron Chambers on a sharp single up the middle that glanced off Ian Desmond’s glove.

It was 6-0 Nats. Now it’s all square 7-7. New ballgame.

Drew Storen can’t quite find the zone and the Cardinals are showing incredible patience at the plate.

Stockton: ‘These fans are loving it’

“These fans are loving it,” TBS’s Dick Stockton said, as Drew Storen loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth inning of the deciding game.


Carlos Beltran gets another hit

(Gary Cameron / Reuters)

Carlos Beltran doesn’t seem to care who’s on the mound for the Nats, the guy just keeps getting hits. This time it’s a lead-off double to center off Drew Storen. Now he’s at third after a groundout from Matt Holliday. One out and the tying run at the plate.

How big was that Suzuki insurance RBI last inning?

Is Storen ready?

Drew Storen is on the mound for the third straight day. TBS’s David Aldridge asked the closer before the game if he’d be able to do three straight games.

“Look, I will find it from somewhere if they need me tonight,” Storen said, according to Aldridge.

Suzuki singles in an insurance run

This man continues to get it done at the plate and behind it. (John McDonnell / The Washington Post)

Kurt Suzuki reached out and slapped a single up the middle to drive in Adam LaRoche from third for a massive insurance run for the Nationals.

LaRoche and Morse singled to start off the inning, but after Ian Desmond grounded into a fielder’s choice and Danny Espinosa popped into an utterly unproductive second out, Washington looked poised to waste a couple more baserunners.

Jason Motte got pinch-hitter Chad Tracy to pop out to end the inning, but Drew Storen will enter with a two-run cushion, and a bit more wiggle room.

Suzuki is 3 for 4 tonight and continues to do Henrik Lundqvist-like work behind the dish.

Morse: Take On Me

Michael Morse’s fourth at-bat is one of the nightly (non-baseball-related) highlights of Nationals home games, with the crowd howling along to A-ha’s “Take On Me” well into the first pitch.

Thursday, his fourth at-bat had hardly started when Morse grounded into a soul-sucking, first-pitch, inning-ending double play.

Still, Morse said the “Take On Me” rendition would be “magical” on Friday. Indeed. Again, the fans sang their A-ha loud and proud. Again, Morse was hacking on the first pitch, while the falsetto still echoed. And this time, it was a first-pitch single, putting runners on first and second with no outs.

Clippard escapes, Nats finally get a little offense going

After Descalso’s homer, Tyler Clippard settled down and got Kozma to foul out, then struck out pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter and god Jay to fly out to deep center.

Now Cardinals closer Jason Motte is in. LaRoche greets him with a single and Michael Morse singles up the middle with the crowd serenading him with “Take On Me.”

Descalso’s homer pulls Cardinals within 1

The bottom of the St. Louis order has killed Nats pitching in this series and Daniel Descalso delivered again with a lead-off home run against Tyler Clippard to pull the Cardinals to within 6-5.

Descalso is now 2 for 4 tonight and has a pair of home runs in the series.

Largest crowd in Nats Park history

Friday will almost certainly be the most-watched Nats game on television since baseball returned to the District.

It’s already set another mark for eyeballs. The team announced a Game 5 attendance of 45,966, the largest in Nats Park history. Game 4’s attendance was 44,392, which was then the third-largest in Nats Park history. Game 3’s attendance was 45,017, which was then the largest in Nats Park history.

Nats go 1-2-3, now turn to Clippard

Here comes Clip. (Alex Brandon / AP)

Mitchell Boggs had to throw a lot of pitches, but he induced a groundout from Werth, a flyout from Harper and a groundout from Zimmerman – with a great glove assist from Kozma.

Onto the 8th we go where the Nats will again turn to Tyler Clippard, who was absolutely electric last night. Did he save some in the tank for tonight?

Edwin Jackson’s inning in tweets

(Robb Carr / Getty Images)

The top half of the 7th made quite a few Nats fans reach for the Maalox. Here’s what Edwin Jackson’s relief inning looked like in a few tweets.





The Giants don’t know where to go

Rather than head back home, the San Francisco Giants chose to stay put in Cincinnati after they won their NLDS on Thursday to wait and see where they’d be headed next.

It’s past 11 p.m. EDT and they’re still waiting. But now they’re headed to the airport.

The Cardinals and leadoff baserunners

In the first three innings, the Cardinals’ leadoff hitters went flyout, groundout, flyout. St. Louis scored zero runs.

In the next four innings, the Cardinals’ leadoff hitters went walk, double, single, walk. St. Louis scored four runs, getting on the scoreboard in three of those innings.


Craig Stammen in for Gio Gonzalez in the sixth

Gonzalez pulled after five innings and 99 pitches. Stammen came in a gave up a leadoff single to David Freese. With one out, he got a double play ball to Danny Espinosa, but he couldn’t get the ball out of his glove and settled for lead runner Freese. 

Facing left-handed pinch hitter Skip Schumaker, Davey Johnson called on Sean Burnett, who only hit 87 mph on the radar gun, but got him to groundout to first to end the inning.

Gio Gonzalez shaky, gives up two run in fifth

With a sizable lead, Gonzalez turned shaky in the fifth inning. He gave up a leadoff double to Daniel Descalso and then a single to Pete Kozma. Pinch hitter Shane Robinson drew a walk, loading the bases with no outs. 

After a visit at the mound, Gonzalez got Jon Jay to pop up to Danny Espinosa. While Carlos Beltran was batting, Gonzalez threw a wild pitch and Descalso scored. Beltran then walked. Matt Holliday hit a grounder back to Gonzalez who threw home for a force out. Gonzalez again issued a walk, this time to Allen Craig, scoring yet another run. 

But with a flyout by Yadier Molina, Gonzalez ended Nationals fans’ nervousness. He allowed two runs, mostly because of three walks. Nationals lead 6-3.

Gonzalez needed 36 pitches to get out of the inning – 20 of them were balls.

Joe Kelly retires five straight Nationals

The Cardinals right-handed relieved Adam Wainwright in the third inning and has retired five straight batters. He got two groundouts and a flyout in the fourth. The Nationals still lead 6-1.

Is there still room on the bandwagon?

The O’s had a great run, but they couldn’t pull out a Game 5 win in New York. So MLB Meme is predicting a wardrobe change in Maryland.


Gio Gonzalez gives up a run, Nationals lead 6-1

With a six-run lead, Gonzalez walked leadoff hitter Carlos Beltran in the fourth inning. Matt Holliday doubled him home for the only Cardinals run of the game. Gonzalez then induced a groundout from Allen Craig, a flyout from Yadier Molina and struck out David Freese looking on a filthy fastball. Nationals lead 6-1.

The Nats dugout celebrates with food, screams


The Nats have made a habit of developing exuberant and ridiculous home run celebrations in 2012. For those of you new to the team, one of the celebrations includes throwing dugout foodstuffs at the conquering hero.

Michael Morse got some in the bottom of the third, following his two-run homer.

And Bryce Harper screamed. (Image via @recordsANDradio)

Bryce Harper may have found his stroke?

Bryce Harper came into Game 5 looking lost in the NLDS, just 1 for 18 and some uncharacteristically bad at-bats. But after two at-bats tonight, he looks like he may have turned things around — and be ready for the NLCS. (I know, I know, too early.)

(Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

Here’s what Davey Johnson had to say prior to the game about Harper, his 19-year-old man-child.

“With Bryce, when he doesn’t do something spectacular, it’s hard to believe, but he tries harder,” Johnson said. “And trying harder is not always better. And that’s part of learning how you handle situations. That’s part of experience. …

“He’s had four games now, so he should be calmed down tonight. He should be all right.”

Maybe he’s a fast learner. In the first inning, after Jayson Werth led off with a double, Harper smoked a 1-0 pitch from Adam Wainwright to center. The ball missed going over the wall by a few feet, but nearly went through it. In his next at-bat, leading off the third, he worked the count against Wainwright full before unleashing a home run to right-center, an absolute blast.

With that swing, Harper became the first teenager to hit a postseason home run since Andruw Jones, playing for Atlanta in 1996. Nats still lead 6-0 after three.


Bryce Harper, Michael Morse homer, Nationals lead 6-0

Beast. Mode. (Patrick McDermott / Getty Images)

Harper entered the series 1 for 18 and in two at-bats is 2 for 2 with a triple and a homer. He smashed the sixth pitch he saw from Adam Wainwright deep into the right field seats for a 4-0 lead. 

Ryan Zimmerman doubled to right field and then Michael Morse smashed the first pitch into the left field seats for a 6-0 lead. In the dugout, there were a ton of fist pumps. 

Bryce goes yard. Twittersphere goes bonkers.

And the obligatory…

Gio Gonzalez with a 1-2-3 third

(Robb Carr / Getty Images)

Sure, it was the bottom of the Cardinals order, 8, 9 and 1 hitters, but Gonzalez is in a groove already. He is throwing his late-breaking curveball for strikes sat down the Cardinals in order in the third, striking out Adam Wainwright and Jon Jay. Nationals lead 3-0.

Adam Wainwright throws scoreless second

(Robb Carr / Getty Images)

The Nationals only got one runner on base, a single by Kurt Suzuki, but they still worked Adam Wainwright for 20 pitches. Bad news for the Nationals hitters: his curveball is working. To score more runs, the Nationals will have to attack him early in the count or hold up and hit the diving pitch.

Redskins, Wizards, Caps rejoice

As the Nats stormed out to that 3-0 first-inning lead, lots of people expressed unbridled Natitudinal joy. Many of them were other pro athletes in this town. Some samples

What Zimmerman’s homer did to Twitter

(Robb Carr / Getty Images)

The Nats have been desperate for an offensive spark. Not a bad way to start tonight.




I don’t even know what this one means…

So about those runners in scoring position …

After Game 3, the 8-0 romp by the Cardinals (Remember that? Fees like a while ago, huh?), I wrote about the Nationals’ abysmal performance with runners in scoring position. Michael Morse, in particular, had a lousy at-bat with the bases loaded in which Chris Carpenter completely dictated the terms of engagement. Jayson Werth then had to face flame-throwing Trevor Rosenthal with runners on the corners, and he popped out weakly to first on a curveball that followed a pair of 100-mph fastballs.

What did we learn in Thursday’s Game 4? Nothing. The Nats never got a runner to second or third. Their runs came on solo homers from Adam LaRoche and Werth. Crazy. So they entered Game 5 still 3 for 24 with runners in scoring position.

Tonight, things have already changed. Werth’s double to lead off against Adam Wainwright put a runner in scoring position. Bryce Harper’s ensuing triple not only drove him in but then replaced him as a runner in scoring position. And Ryan Zimmerman’s homer gave them another hit with RISP.

The totals tonight: 2 for 2 with a triple and a double. And in the series now, 5 for 26.

Also: Kilgore points out that the Nats lost only once when they scored at least three runs and Gio Gonzalez was pitching. Wow.

Nationals take 3-0 lead thanks to Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman

Jayson Werth started off with a double to left field and then Bryce Harper smashed a ball to deep center field off Adam Wainwright that missed being a two-run home run by two feet. Harper settled for a triple, churning around the bases from the start.

Ryan Zimmerman smashed a 1-0 pitch to right-center field for a two-run homer, pumping his right fist as he rounded first base. The Nationals jumped out to a 3-0 lead without recording a single out, seven pitches into the game.

(These images are of the dugout celebrating after Zimmerman’s homer.)

Now that’s some serious Natitude

(via @MeredithSomers, @darrenrovell)

The read on Gio

(Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

Because this is likely to be a nerve-jangling night, we might as well try to figure out what the first inning tells us about Gio Gonzalez.

To do that, look back. In his first inning of the Game 1 start against the Cardinals — a start in which he tied a career high with seven walks over five innings — Gonzalez needed 18 pitches. He got the first two outs, walked Matt Holliday, then retired Allen Craig on a fly to center. Not only did he not throw a first-pitch strike to any of the first 10 batters he faced. You could tell he was off, and by a wide margin, early.

Gonzalez opened tonight’s game by throwing three straight balls to leadoff man Jon Jay. The general reaction: Yikes.

There would appear to be similarities in this first inning to the last one. Gonzalez faced the same number of batters: Four. He got out of the inning after allowing only one base runner. He threw 17 pitches, about the same number.

But tonight’s effort was better. After those first three balls to Jay, he opened the next three hitters with strikes. He threw just one curveball in the first inning of Game 1. He got Holliday swinging at two brutal curveballs tonight. And in Game 1, of his 18 pitches, nine were strikes. Tonight, of his first 17 pitches, 12 were strikes.

Too early to draw conclusions, but let’s try: He’s already better tonight.

Gio Gonzalez sharp early

By Sarah Kogod

Gonzalez allowed a flare single to center field to Carlos Beltran, but finished the inning with minimal effort. In 17 pitches, he got three outs. The left-hander’s curveball looked sharp already, throwing it first-pitch against Matt Holliday and Allen Craig. He threw first-pitch strikes to three of the four hitters.

(This image, by the way, is from first pitch. It came at 8:39, with a temperature of 54 degrees.)


Team records behind both pitchers

Including the playoffs, the Nationals are 25-8 in games started by Gio Gonzalez.

The Cardinals are 16-17 in games started by Adam Wainwright.

This is Beard Season

If Jayson Werth did nothing else on Thursday night, he undoubtedly stimulated the local fake-beard economy.

Well done, person. Photo by Sarah Kogod.

In other news, the reporters at the Park report chants of “Gio, Gio, Gio” as Gonzalez walked out from the bullpen. The lefty smiled.

Get your game face on

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)

Game 5. Here. We. Go.

Charlie Slowes discusses his call

Game 4 of the NLDS will be remembered both for Jayson Werth’s heroics in the ninth, and for Charlie Slowes’s call of Werth’s walk-off homer on 106.7 The Fan. People from around baseball and around the sports media world were talking about Slowes’s call on Friday, and in the middle of the day, he was too.

“You’d have to put that right near the top of the list,” Slowes told my colleague Mike Wise on 106.7 The Fan, when asked where that call ranks in his career highlights.

Wise asked about the way Slowes seemed to predict the home run — the whole “Summoner” gimmick that he and Dave Jageler have joked about all season.

“I think [Jageler] looked at me, thinking you’re crazy,” Slowes said on Friday. “But he’s done that. That whole little bit there — the Summoner — he’s done that four or five times this year, where he’s talked about something, and then it happens right after that.

“It doesn’t always happen on the next pitch or within five seconds of saying it like that,” Slowes admitted. “Got a little lucky there. That was more like every fan’s wishful thinking, just thinking out loud.”

At the end of the segment, they returned to the call, with Wise wondering if Slowes’s career was flashing before his eyes as the ball left the yard.

“There aren’t a lot of things going through your mind when the ball’s in the air — just that you’re hoping it goes over the fence,” Slowes said. “When you talk to your wife — [I’ve] been married for 24 years and she’s basically been with me for all of [my career] — you think and you talk about a lot of things that lead up to the moment. And you never really understand when you’re young, when your parents or somebody older than you says things happen the way they do for a reason, and one day you’ll get it. I think last night, I got it.”

Listen to the segment here.

Jayson Werth: “It’s going to be awesome.”

Jayson Werth is one of the most accomplished postseason players of his era. This is his fourth playoffs in five years. He’s played in 48 playoff games and has hit 14 postseason homers, tied for fourth among active players. His experience made him appreciate the rarity of his moment.

(Shawn Thew / EPA)

“I thought the whole thing was cool,” Werth said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything. You don’t get the opportunities for those things. Luckily, I’ve played in a lot of postseason games and had a lot of opportunities. Not too many players even get the opportunity for that. Just to be here right now, I think, is awesome.”

Werth spoke leaning up against a wall in the home dugout, right after batting practice and less than two hours before first pitch tonight. He loves these moments – he feels more calm playing in October than any other time of the year.

“I like our chances,” Werth said. “I like where we’re at. I said it the other day. After we lost Game 3, I liked where we were at. We got the situation we were wanting. After that, it all takes place in between the lines. You can’t talk then. It’s got to be played.

“It’s going to be awesome.”

Read Kilgore’s full post, with Werth’s day-after analysis of the longest at-bat of his career right here.

Panic in the press box!!!

Maybe you’d rather be at the game than watching from home. Maybe not (it’s getting chilly out there!). Just be glad you’re not in the press box right now where pandemonium is about to break out!

D.C. baseball history for sale

Walter Moore poses with an original 1915 entrance sign of Griffith Field, the original Senators Field. (Evy Mages / For The Washington Post)

There are still some old relics from baseball’s last go-round in D.C. And now  they can be yours for four easy payments of $6,250. Well, probably more than that.

As the Post’s Annys Shin reports:

For the thousands who went to Griffith Stadium to see the Senators, the Redskins, or the Homestead Grays, the bronze sign marking the entrance on Georgia Avenue NW was a little-noticed piece of scenery. For Walter Moore, 74, it became a family heirloom when his late stepfather spared it from the wrecking ball 47 years ago.

Now all Moore has to do is find someone who feels the same way.

Hoping to capitalize on surging interest inthe Nationals, Moore earlier this week placed a classified ad in The Post, seeking buyers for the 30-by-72 inch sign. The bidding starts at $25,000 — a price experts said might be difficult to command in the micro market for Griffith Stadium memorabilia.

The sign was part of a larger collection of Senators, Redskins, and Grffith Stadium artifacts that his late stepfather amassed while working as the stadium’s superintendent for more than 40 years. There were rare photos. The locker of Senators’ pitcher Walter “Big Train” Johnson, which was sent off to Cooperstown. Many of the items were displayed in his mother’s home in Hyattsville, until she died two years ago. Since then, Moore has been selling the collection off bit by bit at yard sales and through newspaper ads. (He doesn’t like computers.)

With the exception of a few items, including a 1950 panoramic photo of the Redskins in front of the U.S. Capitol, the sign “is the last of it,” Moore said.

Read the full story here.

Werth’s home run: another look

Jayson Werth Homerun Game 5 NLDS from TJ Cooney on Vimeo.

Reader TJ Cooney sent along this tremendous video he made of Jayson Werth’s walk-off home run in Game 4. It features audio from Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler on 106.7 The Fan, plus video of both Werth’s home run on Thursday, and his post-rain-delay home run from earlier this season that the broadcasters were discussing.

That’s some bad writing there. Just watch the video.


Edwin Jackson available out of the bullpen

Let me at ’em. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)

Edwin Jackson will be available out of the bullpen in Game 5 of the National League Division Series on Friday night, but only if the game goes into extra innings, Nationals Manager Davey Johnson said. 

Jackson last pitched in Game 4 on Wednesday  tossing only 68 pitches over five inconsistent innings. His command was off, and he allowed four runs on eight hits. Friday would be his regular throw day. Starter Jordan Zimmermann appeared out of the bullpen in Game 4 on Thursday, his throw day, and provided one of the most electric relief appearance this season.

But Jackson, unlike Zimmermann, won’t be needed during the game’s first nine innings, Johnson said. In Game 4, four of the Nationals’ five right-handed relievers were used and Johnson wanted to stay away from most of them on Thursday. He needed a seventh inning reliever to bridge starter Ross Detwiler to the back end of the bullpen, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen, so he turned to Zimmermann. Johnson rested Christian Garcia and Ryan Mattheus on Thursday, and had Craig Stammen warming in the sixth but didn’t use him in the game.

Jackson, the lone Nationals starter with playoff experience before this October, is slated to start Game 2 on Monday of the National League Championship Series should the Nationals advance. So if he isn’t used in Friday’s game, Jackson would still have to throw to stay on his regular five-day schedule.

Kyle Lohse on the Cardinals pitching

Have the Nats been stuck in a miserable offensive rut all series, or are the St. Louis pitchers imposing themselves on the NL East champs? Some of both, likely.

Game 4 starter Kyle Lohse talked to SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio Friday evening, and he discussed the approach the Cardinals staff has taken.

“It comes down to execution, and we’ve done a great job of executing the pitches we need to in situations,” Lohse said. (Audio here.) “They do have a great lineup. You don’t have the best record in the National League by luck. They’ve got a good staff, a good lineup. And we’ve just done a good job of figuring out what we need to do to be successful, and going out there and doing it. Everybody that’s taken the mound has done a good job.”

Lohse was particularly effective on Thursday, but Mike Matheny ruled him out for Game 5, despite the right-hander’s pleas.

“I tried to tell Mike that I could get him three outs or six, whatever he wanted, but he told me no,” Lohse joked. “Maybe I could get a bunt in there or something, who knows. The problem with pinch-running is you’ve got to be faster than the guy you’re running for, and that’s not happening right now.”

What’s your Game 5 get-up?

This guy is rocking his red, white and blue Natitude tonight. Whether you’re at the game, at a bar or on the couch, what’s your lucky Game 5 garb?

(Sarah Kogod / For The Washington Post)

Gio Gonzalez has bounced back well this season

It’s your turn, kid. (Charlie Riedel / AP)

The images from Gio Gonzalez’s wild Game 1 performance, when he walked seven batters in just five innings, may prompt concern. If his regular season is any kind of guide, though, it bodes awfully well for the Nationals tonight.

This season, Gonzalez has made six starts that lasted five innings or less. In the six starts following those clunkers, he dominated every time out. Gonzalez totaled 40 1/3 in those six starts and allowed six earned runs – good for a 1.34 ERA – with 37 strikeouts, 10 walks and 17 hits allowed. That’s 10 fewer baserunners allowed than strikeouts and a cool 0.669 WHP.

The stakes are different now, and he will have to face the same fearsome Cardinals lineup. (It is also bone-chillingly cold at Nationals Park tonight.) But that, too, may work in the Nationals’ favor. The Nationals have seen Adam Wainwright this series. The Cardinals haven’t really seen Gonzalez, at least not the usual version. Judging by his ability to bounce back from bad starts, that’s the Gonzalez the Cardinals will get tonight.

“We’ve got the guy we want on the mound for us in Gio,” General Manager Mike Rizzo said. “He’s our Cy Young guy.”

Game 5 lineups

(Jeff Roberson / AP)

The Nats send their ace, Gio Gonzalez, to the mound with everything on the line. The Cardinals counter with their Game 1 starter, Adam Wainwright, who gave up one run, struck out 10 and took the no decision.

Davey Johnson is sticking to his guns again tonight and riding the lineup that got the Nats to this point – warts and all.


1. Jayson Werth, RF

2. Bryce Harper, CF

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Adam LaRoche, 1B

5. Michael Morse, LF

6. Ian Desmond, SS

7. Danny Espinosa, 2B

8. Kurt Suzuki, C

9. Gio Gonzalez, SP


1. Jon Jay, CF

2. Carlos Beltran, RF

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Allen Craig, 1B

5. Yadier Molina, C

6. David Freese, 3B

7. Daniel Descalso, 2B

8. Pete Kozma, SS

9. Adam Wainwright, SP

Welcome to the Game 5 discussion

I’m fired up. You fired up? (Robb Carr / Getty Images)

It’s the biggest game in Nationals’ history and The Post’s staff will be with you from start to finish, updating you live.

The comment thread is right below this for you to discuss anything about today that you’d like. In addition, Dan Steinberg, Barry Svrluga, James Wagner and Matt Brooks will update you here on everything from traffic issues to pitching changes. For complete traffic and transportation updates, visit the Dr. Gridlock blog. Once the game starts, you’ll also be able to stay on top of each play through the stats above. Selecting the box score tab on the left will get you the live box, and by selecting the summary tab on the left you can see the games’ full play-by-play and scoring summary.

Each time a reporter files an update, the list just below the “NL Division Series Game 5: Nationals at Cardinals” headline will flash yellow and the latest headline will appear at the top of the list. Also, a small update box will appear in the right corner of your screen. You can read that new entry by selecting the headline for the new entry in either place. 
(Note: In some older browsers you might not get the yellow flash, so you might want to refresh here and there to see if anything new has been posted.)