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Washington Nationals’ lineup for series opener with the New York Mets in D.C.

Davey Martinez and Co. go up against the Mets in Nationals Park.

St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

St. Louis Cardinals’ starter Andre Pallante took the mound yesterday in the series finale in Nationals Park with a 4.81 ERA, a 4.68 FIP, and a rough .302/.359/.453 line against in 48 23 IP in 10 appearances (nine of them starts) in the last two months, since the right-hander moved into the Cards’ rotation.

Pallante proceeded to throw 8+ scoreless in which he gave up five hits and a walk, leaving the mound after giving up back-to-back hits in the bottom of the ninth inning of what ended up a 5-0 win for the visitors in the nation’s capital.

Manager Davey Martinez and slugger Juan Soto talked after the game, the Nationals’ ninth shutout loss of the season, about why they club had so much trouble with the Cardinals’ starter.

“This guy was good,” Martinez told reporters in his post game presser. “He’s got a good — fastball was very live, very — the ball got up on our hitters fairly quickly. He could run a fastball, he cut some fastballs to our lefties, his breaking ball was really good, but he pounded the strike zone, he was around the strike zone, and he threw the ball well.”

“That guy, he’s been throwing the ball pretty well around the strike zone,” Soto said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, after the Nats dropped 2 of 3 to the Cards, with Soto 0 for 3 with a walk in the series finale. “He’s got kind of a funky windup, too, and he was executing the pitches. That’s what I see from him. I was battling, my team was battling, to (score) some runs. Sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce our way.”

Tonight, Soto and his teammates (assuming, you know, nothing happens before tonight) take on the New York Mets and three-time Cy Young award-winner Max Scherzer, who has a 1.39 ERA, a 1.79 FIP, and a .197/.242/.316 line against in five starts and 32 13 IP since returning from an IL stint for an oblique injury.

So it doesn’t get any easier…