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Washington Nationals Blow 7-5 Lead In 9th And Drop Game 5 Of The NLDS 9-7 To The St. Louis Cardinals.

The St. Louis Cardinals battled back from 6-0 down to the Washington Nationals to tie it at 7-7 in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the NLDS, and then went ahead 9-7 on a Pete Kozma single that gave the Cards the win and the NLDS series.

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• TKCHZ!!!: The first hit of Game 5 of the NLDS between the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals came with one down in the top of the first when Carlos Beltran went down for an 0-2 fastball from Nats' lefty Gio Gonzalez and sent a soft liner to center that dropped way too far in front of Bryce Harper for the Nationals' outfielder to have a chance to make a catch. Gonzalez got Cards' outfielder Matt Holliday swinging with an 0-2 curve for out no.2. "Let's Go Gio!! [clap clap, clap clap clap] Let's Go Gio!!" A fly to center off Allen Craig's bat stranded Beltran at first at the end of a 17-pitch inning by the Nationals' lefty after which walk-off hero Jayson Werth stepped in to face Cardinals' starter Adam Wainwright. Werth homered in his last at bat and started tonight's game with a double to left for his first two-base hit of the series. Werth then scored when Bryce Harper bounced his second hit of the postseason of the W.B. Mason sign in CF. 1-0 Nats. Triple for Harper. Ryan Zimmerman stepped up next and... THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! HR to center and over the GEICO sign!!! 3-0 Nationals early in Game 5. Zimmerman's second HR of the series. This place is going nuts... 3 Ks later, Wainwright was out of a 21-pitch first but the Cardinals trailed the Nats by three.

• Let's Go Gio!!: David Freese singled with one down in the second, but Gio Gonzalez got Daniel Descalso to K swinging at the end of an eight pitch AB that ended with the Cards' infielder swinging through a 93 mph four-seam fastball. Gonzalez got up 0-2 on Pete Kozma and missed with a fastball inside, but Freese got nailed on an attempt at a delayed steal when Kurt Suzuki threw a strike to second. Caught stealing. 2.0 scoreless. 3-0 Nationals. Suzuki shot a low liner through second with one down in the bottom of the inning, but Gio Gonzalez K'd trying to get a bunt down for out no.2 and Jayson Werth flew out to center to end the second.

• #RUNHARP!!!!: A fly to center by Pete Kozma, a backwards K with a 1-2 curve to the opposing pitcher and swinging strike three from Jon Jay ended a 11-pitch inning and Gio Gonzalez's 3rd scoreless. 46 pitches after 3.0 IP. Before tonight's game Davey Johnson told reporters he thought it was about time Bryce Harper started to get things going after he was 1 for 18 in the first four games while battling sickness and shadows in St. Louis and the first two games in D.C. After tripling the first time up, the Nats' 19-year-old outfielder hit one out in his second AB, taking a full-count sinker to center and over the out-of-town scoreboard for a solo home run and 4-0 Nats' lead. Harper's first postseason home run. Ryan Zimmerman doubled in the next at bat and one-out later, Michael Morse ca-rushed a first-pitch fastball, sending a two-run home run out to left-center to make it 6-0 Nationals and end Wainwright's night.

Adam Wainwright's Line: 2.1 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 0 BB, 5 Ks, 3 HR, 53 P, 33 S, 0/2 GO/FO.

• Relief: Cards' right-hander Joe Kelly took over on the mound for St. Louis and struck the next two batters out to get the Cardinals out of the third down six runs in Game 5 of the NLDS.

• Cards On Board: After the Nats gave Gio Gonzalez a big lead to work with, the left-hander walked the first batter in the fourth, Carlos Beltran, and then gave up the first run of the game when Matt Holliday doubled to left to bring the runner around. 6-1 game. Grounder. Desmond. Out. Two down after Allen Craig grounded to short. David Freese worked the count full, but took a fastball inside for a called strike three that ended the Cardinals' fourth after 17 pitches with Gonzalez at 63 pitches overall. Joe Kelly retired the Nats' in order in a 17-pitch bottom of the fourth. Still 6-1 Nationals.

• Trouble For Gio?: Daniel Descalso doubled on the seventh pitch he saw in the first at bat of the fifth, then went to third on a single by Pete "Kosmos" Kozma to give the Cardinals runners on the corners with one out. A walk to pinch hitter Shane Robinson loaded the bases for Jon Jay, but Gio Gonzalez got a pop to second for the first out of the frame before a wild pitch brought the Cardinals' second run in. 6-2 Nationals. Second and third with one out. Beltran walked to reload the bases and bring Matt Holliday up with one down. Matt Holliday grounded back to the mound and into a force at the plate for out no.2. Gonzalez got behind Allen Craig, 3-1, then walked in a run to make it 6-3 Washington. Yadier Molina stepped in with two down, but flew to right to end the Cards' fifth. 6-3 Nats. Trevor Rosenthal took over for the Cards in the bottom of the fifth, striking Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman out for the first two outs before Adam LaRoche's fly to left ended a 16-pitch frame.

• Gio Gonzalez's Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 Ks, 99 P, 56 S, 3/4 GO/FO.

• Eye Of The Tiger: Craig Stammen took over for Gio Gonzalez in the top of the sixth. Ian Desmond misplayed a grounder to short on what was ruled a single by David Freese. A line drive to center by Daniel Descalso got Stammen the first out of the inning. A grounder to second off Pete Kozma's bat could've been a double play, but Danny Espinosa bobbled it before tossing to second for the force and out no.2. Runner on first with one down and Davey Johnson went to the pen for Sean Burnett against pinch hitter Skip Schumaker, whose grounder to first ended the Cards' 5th with the Nationals still up, 6-3 over the Cards. Edward Mujica took over for St. Louis in the bottom of the sixth. Michael Morse grounded to third. Ian Desmond did the same for out no.2, but Danny Espinosa walked with two down to get Kurt Suzuki up with a runner on. Suzuki lined to center to get Roger "The Shark" Bernadina a pinch hit at bat. 44,000+ [CHOMPING] Nats fans greeted Bernadina, who K'd swinging to end the sixth. Still 6-3 Nationals.

• E-Jax Is Tonight's Zimmermann: Edwin Jackson came out of the pen for the seventh and walked the first batter he faced, Jon Jay, before giving up a double to right by Carlos Beltran that put runners on second and third with no one out. Matt Holliday grounded out to short on an 0-2 slider. Grounder. Desmond. Out. But a run scored to make it 6-4 Nationals. Allen Craig stepped in with a runner on second, but he K'd swinging at a wicked slider for out no.2. A walk to Yadier Molina put two runners on with two out and David Freese due up. E-Jax got ahead 1-2 on Freese and dropped a slider on the Cardinals' infielder to keep the Nats up by two after six and a half in D.C. Mitchell Boggs came out for St. Louis in the bottom of the seventh. Jayson Werth grounded to short. Bryce Harper flew to center for out no.2. Pete Kozma picked a one-hop grounder to short off Ryan Zimmerman's bat and threw to first to for the final out of the seventh.

• 45,966: The largest crowd in Nats Park's history held their collective breath as Tyler Clippard came out for the sixth with Washington six outs away from the NLCS, up 6-4 over the Cardinals. Daniel Descalso got hold of a 2-2 change and made it a one-run game with one swing, launching a solo home run to right to get the Cardinals within one. Ian Desmond caught a pop down the line in left for out no.1. Matt Carpenter K'd swinging for out no.2 on a 96 mph full-count fastball upstairs. Jon Jay fouled off a 1-2 pitch, took a four-seam fastball for ball two and flew out to center for out no.3. 23-pitch inning. 6-5 Nats after seven and a half. Jason Motte took over in the bottom of the eighth. Adam LaRoche lined to right to start the Nats' half of the inning. Michael Morse followed with the second straight hit. 2 on, 0 outs. Ian Desmond grounded into a force at second, but beat the DP throw to first. First and third for Danny Espinosa, who popped out for out no.2 before Kurt Suzuki came through with a two-out single that gave the Nats a two-run lead. 7-5 after eight.

• STOREN WARNING!!!!: Nats' closer Drew Storen took over the ninth with a two-run lead. Carlos Beltran doubled to start the ninth, and moved up on a groundout to third by Matt Holliday. ONE!!!! Allen Craig K'd swinging at a 2-2 slider for out no.2. TWO!!!!! Yadier Molina got ahead 2-1, fouled one off, 2-2, took a slider outside, full count... and walked. Ball four. David Freese went down 1-2, got away with a check swing, 2-2, took a fastball outside... full count... and walked to load the bases. Bases full, 2 outs. Daniel Descalso... singled through short, off Ian Desmond's glove. Two runs score. 7-7 game. Pete Kozma stepped in next and singled to right to make it a 9-7 game when two more scored. 9-7 after eight and a half. Jayson Werth flew to right. Bryce Harper K'd swinging. Ryan Zimmerman popped out to second. Ballgame. Cardinals win. 9-7 final.

• Miss The Game? The D.C. Faithful Were Watching...

• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: Coming soon...

St. Louis Cardinals win NLDS 3-2.