Nats Rout Cards to Take 3-0 NLCS Lead

After losing two home games to begin the National League Championship Series, the Cardinals started José “Cafecito” Martínez in right field in an effort to give their anemic offense a lift. Cafecito went 2-4 with one run scored, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Nats exploded for eight runs, four against St. Louis ace SP Jack Flaherty.

Nationals 8, Cardinals 1 (box score)

W: Stephen Strasburg
L: Jack Flaherty

Washington starter Strasburg accounted for 12 out of 16 total Cardinals punchouts, over seven scoreless innings.

Flaherty only lasted 4.0 IP, allowing four runs on five hits with six strikeouts and two walks. As I mentioned following the Cardinals’ NLDS Game 5 blowout against Atlanta, the decision to allow Flaherty to pitch a full outing after a ten-run first inning at Suntrust Park may have wasted precious bullets St. Louis would need against a stacked Nationals rotation.

Howie Kendrick went 3-4 for the Nationals on three doubles, with three RBI and two runs scored.

The Nationals look for a series sweep tonight at 8:05 PM ET. Matchup: Dakota Hudson (16-7, 3.35 ERA) vs. Patrick Corbin (14-7, 3.25 ERA).

In the meantime, the Astros will face the Yankees in New York at 4:08 PM ET with a series lead on the line. Matchup: Gerrit Cole (20-5, 2.50 ERA) vs. Luis Severino (1-1, 1.50 ERA).