Remember when Gretzky played for the Blues Top 5:
5. Quick Recap: Matt Adams' home run off Washington Nationals' starter Jordan Zimmermann provided the only run St. Louis needed in Friday night's 1-0 win over the Nats, and the Cardinals' hard-hitting first baseman's second home run of the series (off Stephen Strasburg) broke up 1-1 tie last night in what ended up a 4-1 win on Saturday.
This afternoon in the series finale in Busch Stadium, Adams hit his third home run in three games out to right in the second, taking an 0-2 cutter from Doug Fister for a ride and a two-run blast that made it 2-0 after two. HR no.6 for Adams.
Matt Holliday hit HR no.5 of 2014 out to left-center on a first-pitch fastball from Fister with one down in the third, giving the Cardinals a 3-0 lead after three.
Matt Holliday rips his own frozen rope HR: http://t.co/oL2WgQC0jI— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 15, 2014
Kolten Wong snapped an 0 for 16 schneid at the plate with a leadoff triple to right in the home-half of the fifth and then scored the Cardinals' fourth run on a sac fly to left by Matt Holliday. 4-1 Cards.
Nationals' left-hander, Ross Detwiler, pitching in the city he was born in, issued a two-out walk to Matt Holliday in the seventh and then gave up an RBI double to left by Allen Craig, who drove in the Cardinals' fifth run of the game, 5-1.
The Nationals loaded the bases in the ninth and Adam LaRoche took a walk from Trevor Rosenthal to force in a run, 5-2. That's how it ended.
4. Fister faces Cards: Doug Fister threw seven scoreless innings last time out on the mound against the San Francisco Giants in AT&T Park, earning the curly-W in the Washington Nationals' 2-1 victory to give him wins in five straight starts.
In those outings, the former Detroit Tigers' starter, acquired by the Nats this winter, has been everything the Nationals hoped for and more, posting a 1.95 ERA with three walks (0.84 BB/9) and 23 Ks (6.40 K/9) in 32 ⅓ IP over which he's held opposing hitters to a .233/.256/.350 line.
The Nationals have won six straight with Fister on the mound, winning each of his starts after his rough 2014 debut against the A's in Oakland's O.co Coliseum.
Fister entered the series finale with a (5-1) record, a 2.68 ERA, 3.80 FIP, three walks (0.62 BB/9) and 31 Ks (6.39 K/9) in 43 ⅔ IP, holding the opposition to a .250/.270/.405 line through his first seven starts in a Nationals uniform. Fister needed 97 pitches to complete seven innings last time out, though he broke a streak of 14-straight innings on the mound without a walk when he issued a free pass in his final inning of work.
"I thought he pitched really well," Matt Williams said after Fister's was done with the Giants. "He was aggressive as usual. In the last inning things got a little out of whack, ball got up a little bit more than normal, but I think he battled. I think he was fine."
This afternoon in Busch Stadium, the 30-year-old, six-year major league veteran faced the St. Louis Cardinals for the first time in his career, hoping to become the first Nationals' starter since Livan Hernandez in 2005 (4/24/-5/19) to win six straight starts. Fister's outing in the series finale with the Cards began with a fly to Nate McLouth in center...
1st: Matt Carpenter lined out to Nate McLouth in center the first at bat of the Cardinals' first. Kolten Wong worked the count full and grounded out to short. A swinging K from Matt Holliday ended a 15-pitch first for Fister.
2nd: Allen Craig singled to center on a 1-0 fastball from Doug Fister for the Cardinals' first hit of the game, and the second hit followed in the next at bat when Matt Adams took an 0-2 cutter out to right field for a two-run home run and a 2-0 lead early in the series finale in St. Louis. Jhonny Peralta grounded out to second for the first out of the inning, but Jon Jay hit a line drive single to right in the next at bat. Tony Cruz stepped in with one on and one out and lined a single to center to put two on. Jaime Garcia bunted the runners over, bringing Matt Carpenter up, but a groundout to second ended a 26-pitch inning that left Fister at 41 total after two.
3rd: Kolten Wong popped a bunt attempt toward first for the first out of the third. Matt Holliday was first-pitch swinging and he lined a fastball to left-center that landed 10 rows deep in the outfield seats. 3-0. Allen Craig flew out to right for out no.2, and Matt Adams K'd swinging to end a 12-pitch third. 53 pitches total for Fister.
4th: Jhonny Peralta's grounder to short was too deep in the hole for Ian Desmond to do anything with it. Infield single. Jon Jay worked a 10-pitch walk out of Fister. Tony Cruz grounded into a force at third for out no.1. Jaime Garcia bunted both runners over, but Matt Carpenter's fly to center ended a 16-pitch frame that left Fister at 69 pitches after four.
5th: Kolten Wong started the Cards' fifth with a triple to right field on a 1-1 change from Fister and he scored the Cardinals' fourth run on a sac fly to left off Matt Holliday's bat. 4-1. Allen Craig grounded to second for out no.2. Matt Adams grounded into the shift to end a 17-pitch fifth by Fister, who was up to 86 overall after five.
6th: Jhonny Peralta grounded out to second to start the sixth. Jon Jay lined out to left where Scott Hairston made a sliding catch. Tony Cruz took a two-out walk, but he was stranded when Jaime Garcia grounded out to the mound. 15-pitch frame, 101 overall.
• Doug Fister's Line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 2 HR, 101 P, 65 S, 10/3 GO/FO.
3. vs LHP: St. Louis Cardinals' lefty Jaime Garcia entered today's start with a (3-1) record, a 3.29 ERA, 10 walks (3.29 BB/9) and 23 Ks (7.57 K/9) in five starts and 27 ⅓ IP against the Washington Nationals in the 27-year-old starter's six-year major league career. In those outings, the Nationals have, however, put up a .295/.350/.375 line against the southpaw, and the 2014 Nats have crushed left-handed pitching so far this season, with a combined .286/.343/.417 line, good for 2nd in the NL in AVG behind the Colorado Rockies (.300), 2nd in OBP behind the Rockies and Pittsburgh Pirates (tied at .347) and sixth in SLG amongst National League teams.
Though a setback during Spring Training delayed his 2014 debut, Garcia returned to the mound in the majors in mid-May a year after undergoing surgery on a torn labrum and rotator cuff in 2013.
Through five starts before today, the left-hander was (2-0) on the year with a 4.26 ERA, 3.97 FIP, three walks (0.85 BB/9) and 26 Ks (7.39 K/9) in 31 2/3 IP over which he held right-handed hitters to a .185/.211/.370 line. In his career, right-handers held a combined .260/.313/.380 line against Garcia.
Would Nats' skipper's decision to stack the lineup with right-handers pay off?
Garcia retired the first four batters he faced before Scott Hairston lined a one-out double off the left field wall in Busch Stadium for the Nationals' first hit. Ian Desmond followed with an opposite field single to left in the next at bat, putting two on with one out for Danny Espinosa, who worked the count full and took a 3-2 curve on the foot to load'em up for Sandy Leon. Leon took a low 2-0 pitch for a strike, then grounded into a force at home for out no.2, leaving it up to Doug Fister, who K'd swinging to end a 21-pitch second by Garcia, who was up to 33 pitches total after two.
Nine pitches got Garcia through a 1-2-3 third and an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth left him at 53 overall.
Danny Espinosa singled to start the fifth and took second on a wild pitch. Sandy Leon grounded back to the mound for the first out of the inning, however, and Doug Fister K'd swinging for out no.2. Anthony Rendon stepped in with a runner in scoring position and two down and walked, and Nate McLouth reached safely on a grounder to first, sliding in safely ahead of Matt Adams. Jayson Werth stepped in with the bases loaded, got to a 3-1 count and walked to force in a run. 3-1 Cards. Ryan Zimmerman took a close 2-1 pitch to get up 3-1 as well, but his groundout to third ended a 25-pitch frame that left Garcia at 78 pitches.
"Right Side" Danny Espinosa was 2 for 2 today after a two-out single in the sixth, but he was stranded at first when Sandy Leon popped out to end a 13-pitch frame by Garcia, who was up to 91 pitches. He was up to 100 even after a quick, nine-pitch, 1-2-3 seventh.
• Jaime Garcia's Line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 100 P, 61 S, 8/3 GO/FO.
2. St. Louis Blues: With losses in the first two games of the three-game set in St. Louis, the Nationals dropped to 0-6 since they last earned a win in Busch Stadium, 2-8 against the Cardinals in the regular season over the last two years and 5-21 overall in St. Louis since the stadium opened in 2006. The Nats split the two-game set with the Cards in the nation's capital this season, but were guaranteed a loss in the season series when they dropped the second game of their three-game weekend set to the Cardinals last night.
Updated records: 0 for 7 since last win in St. Louis in September 2012. 2-9 vs Cards in 2013-14, 5-22 overall in Busch Stadium since it opened.
1. The Wrap-Up: St. Louis-born lefty Ross Detwiler took over on the mound for the Nationals in the bottom of the seventh and retired the first two batters he faced, but a two-out walk to Matt Holliday cost the Nationals another run when Allen Craig drove Holliday in with a two-run double to left. 5-1 Cardinals.
Jason Motte needed just 13 pitches in a 1-2-3 eighth.
Rafael Soriano came on for some work in the bottom of the eighth.
Cards' lefty Sam Freeman recorded two outs, but let two runners on before the Cardinals went to the pen for closer Trevor Rosenthal, who gave up a base-loading single by Anthony Rendon and a walk to Adam LaRoche that forced in a run to make it 5-2. Jayson Werth stepped in with a chance to win it, but popped out to foul territory off first to end the game and the series.
Nationals now 35-33