• Hondo: On Wednesday in Game 3 of the NLDS, the Washington Nationals welcomed Frank Robinson back to the nation's capital to throw out the first pitch of the first postseason game in Washington, D.C. in over 79 years. Today in Nats Park it was the "Capital Punisher" Frank Howard who threw the ceremonial first pitch to the current Face of the Nats Franchise, Ryan Zimmerman, and received a warm reception from fans, many of whom likely only knew him as the larger than life monster slugger whose home runs resulted in the white seats in RFK's outfield stands where the veteran of 16 major league seasons, seven of them spent in Washington, once launched home runs so long it's hard to believe.
• Sinkerballer: Ross Detwiler missed inside with a 1-2 fastball to St. Louis Cardinals' leadoff man Jon Jay, but got a grounder to short from the Cards' outfielder for the first out of Game 4 of the NLDS. Grounder. Desmond. Out. The Washington Nationals' 26-year-old left-handed starter popped Carlos Beltran up for out no.2 and got a grounder to the mound from Matt Holliday to complete a quick, 11-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the first in front of an excited and appreciative Nationals Park crowd that had no interest in seeing and was not prepared to the Nats' 2012 season to end this afternoon. Cards' starter Kyle Lohse popped Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper up then got Ryan Zimmerman looking to end a 14-pitch, 1-2-3 1st of his own and keep it scoreless after one in the nation's capital.
• "Let's Go Nats, Let's Go Nats!: The Nationals Park crowd was waving towels and cheering loudly as Detwiler worked Daniel Descalso in the top of the second, with "Let's Go Nats" chants that had the park [literally] rocking. The Cards' second baseman battled Detwiler for 10 pitches with David Freese at first after the St. Louis' third baseman had singled with two down, but the Nats' lefty won the battle with Descalso and completed his second scoreless frame on 19 pitches, after which he was at 30 total in 2.0 IP. Adam LaRoche worked the count full in the first at bat of the bottom of the second, fouling the eighth pitch he saw down the right field line but foul before getting hold of pitch no.9 and putting it out to center, out toward the batter's eye green and GONE!! Solo HR. The Nationals took a 1-0 lead early on LaRoche's second postseason home run. Lohse retired the next three Nats in order in what ended up being a 19-pitch frame.
• E:6 = 1-1: Ross Detwiler walked "Pesky" Pete Kozma in the first at bat of the third, putting the second St. Louis' baserunner of the game on and allowing Kyle Lohse to give up an out/bunt the Cards' infielder over. Ian Desmond misplayed a grounder to short by Jon Jay and tried to recover and toss to third, but Kozma scrambled back to the bag and the Cardinals had runners on the corners. E:6. A sac fly by Carlos Beltran brought Kozma in from third to tie it at 1-1, before Detwiler got Matt Holliday looking with a full-count fastball that ended an 18-pitch frame. 48 pitches through three. Kyle Lohse needed 15 pitches to retire the Nats in order in the bottom of the inning, after which he too was at 48 overall. Still 1-1 in D.C.
• Get it, Danny!: Danny Espinosa made a leaping attempt at a liner over second by Allen Craig, who started the Cardinals' fourth with a single when it made it over Espinosa and into right field. A line drive to second and a pop to short got Ross Detwiler two quick outs. The Nats' lefty took a deep breath on the mound before he fired a 2-2 pitch to Daniel Descalso that missed outside, but a groundout to first from the Cards' second baseman ended a 14-pitch inning with the score still tied at 1-1. Ryan Zimmerman singled through short with one down in the Nationals' fourth, lining a 1-1 curve by a lunging Pete Kozma, but Adam LaRoche popped up to David Freese just off third and Michael Morse went down swinging to keep it tied at 1-1 after four.
• Leadoff Walks Rarely... etc.: Detwiler issued the second walk of the game to Pete Kozma in the top of the fifth, but Adam LaRoche made a bold play and strong throw to second to cut the lead runner down when Kyle Lohse bunted too hard toward first. Jon Jay chased an 0-2 sinker out of the zone for a swinging K and out no.2 and Carlos Beltran grounded into another force at second to end an a 17-pitch frame. Still tied at 1-1. 79 pitches through 5.0 for Detwiler. Kyle Lohse started the fifth at 62 pitches. Four pitches and three outs later, he was at 66 with the score still tied at 1-1 in Nats Park.
• MOAR DET!!: A groundout to second from Matt Holliday got Ross Detwiler the first out of the sixth. Jordan Zimmermann warmed in the pen as Detwiler dealt to Allen Craig. The Cards' first baseman singled through short for his second and St. Louis' third hit of the game off the Nats' left hander. Yadier Molina took a called strike on a fastball outside to got to a 2-2 count then grounded to third for what would have been a double play if Danny Espinosa had kept his foot on the base. Davey Johnson came out to argue, but to no avail. The Nats' got out no.2 at first and walked David Freese to get to Daniel Descalso. 2 on, 2 out. Detwiler got up 0-2 on the Cards' second baseman, bhut Descalso battled back to a 2-2 count, before grounding out to second to end the top of the sixth.
• Ross Detwiler's Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 Ks, 104 P, 59 S, 12/2 GO/FO
• Lombo: Nats' infielder Steve Lombardozzi took over for Detwiler at the plate in the Nationals' sixth, flying out to center in a pinch hit at bat. Jayson Werth K'd swinging for out no.2 and Bryce Harper popped up to end the bottom of the sixth. Still 1-1 in Washington.
• Jordan [Expletive Deleted] Zimmermann: Jordan Zimmermann took over for Ross Detwiler in the top of the seventh and with a 97 mph fastball, 91 mph slider and 80 mph curve struck out the side on 12 pitches that were absolutely filthy. Ryan Zimmerman [no relation] led off the Nats' seventh against the Cards' Kyle Lohse. Zim grounded back to the mound for out no.1, but Adam LaRoche walked with two down, bringing Cardinals' skipper Mike Matheny out to the mound for a chat. A ground ball to third by Michael Morse started a 5-4-3 DP, however, and got Lohse through seven on 87 pitches. Still tied at 1-1.
• Ready Or Not: Tyler Clippard got Carlos Beltran swinging with a 1-1 change for out no.1 of the Cardinals' eighth. Matt Holliday took an 0-2 fastball for a called strike three. Allen Craig started 3-0, took a called strike, but walked with two down to get Yadier Molina to the plate. Clippard got up 0-2 on the Cards' catcher and threw a high mid-90's fastball by him to end a 1-2-3 8th. 16-pitch frame for the Nats' right-hander, still 1-1 after seven and a half. Ian Desmond grounded to short, Danny Espinosa popped to second. Cards' right-hander Mitchell Boggs lost Kurt Suzuki and walked the Nats' catcher, bring Chad Tracy to the plate with a runner on, but Tracy K'd swinging to end the eighth with the score still tied at 1-1.
• DRUUUUUUUU!!!!: Nats' closer Drew Storen came in with the score tied after eight. David Freese worked the count full and K'd swinging at a 96 mph fastball up high and inside for out no.1. Daniel Descalso got ahead 3-1 when Storen "missed" with curve at the knees, then fouled off the next pitch to take it to a full count. A 95 mph full-count fastball got the Cards' second baseman swinging for out no.2. Storen got behind Pete Kozma, 3-0, but Storen got a full-count before walking the Cardinals' infielder with two down. Pinch hitter Matt Carpenter stepped in next, and popped to short left where Ian Desmond made a diving catch to end the top of the frame. Still tied a 1-1 after eighth and a half. Lance Lynn took over for St. Louis with Werth, Harper and Zimmerman due up in the bottom of the frame. "Let's Go Nats! Let's Go Nats!!" JAYSON WERTH!!! HOME RUN! HOME RUN!!! WALK-OFF WINNER!! THERE'S GONG TO BE A GAME FIVE!!! WERTH WORKS A 13 PITCH AB AND HOMERS TO LEFT! GONE GONE GONE!! NATS WIN!!! NATS WIN!!
GAME 5 TOMORROW NIGHT!!!!
• Miss The Game? The D.C. Faithful Were Watching...
• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: COMING SOON!! W00T!!!
Nationals and Cardinals tied at 2-2 in the NLDS.