The St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals are set to square off in what could be final game of the season for Washington. Trailing 2-1 in the best-of-five series, Washington will turn to the young left-hander Ross Detweiler. Detweiler had a very strong season and was probably the most surprising member of the Washington rotation.
He went 10-8 with a 3.40 ERA. He is not a strikeout pitcher by any means, but he has been able to keep runners off base as evidenced by his 1.22 WHIP. Also, opponents only managed to hit .241 against him this season.
Obviously, as a young pitcher, he is going to be pitching in one of the biggest games of his career so far, and his opponent is definitely formidable.
Kyle Lohse went an amazing 16-3 this season. On top of that, he posted a 2.86 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He does not allow very many runners to reach base, and when he does, he does not allow very many of them to cross home plate.
On top of that, his strong outing against the Atlanta Braves got the St. Louis Cardinals through the Wild Card round and to this point. As a veteran, he will not rattle easily, and the Washington Nationals will have their work cut out for them.
The Nationals jumped out early and took the first game of the series, but the Cardinals rebounded and took two of their own. However, it might not do the Cardinals enough justice to simply say that they took those two games.
In game two, they ended up finish off Washington by a margin of 12-4, and their pitching staff led by Chris Carpenter combined for an 8-0 shutout in game three.
Part of the reason for this amazing success has been undoubtedly the ineffectiveness of Adam LaRoche. Cardinals pitching had held him to only one hit in 11 at-bats. After driving in an even 100 runs during the season, keeping him silent has been vitally important for St. Louis.
However, they would not have been able to do as much without an outstanding offensive effort as well. Their entire roster is hitting a combined .300 for the series. When three out of every 10 batters are getting on base, good things are going to happen.
This could be the end of the road tonight for the Washington Nationals, but very few people expected them to even make the playoffs at the beginning of the season. They are not going to go out without a fight. It is never over with this team.