The birds just topped the Atlanta Braves in five games, but the Nationals have a storied history with St. Louis within their few postseason stories to tell. In what might as well be referred to as the game that shall not be named, the Cardinals posted the largest comeback ever in an elimination playoff game against the Nats in Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS. There are quite a few players -- and of course fans -- who were part of that game for both teams seven years ago. This could add fuel to the Nationals fire and desire to go further than they've ever been before.
With that in mind, it's time to get back to 2019 and take another look at how the two teams dueled this year.
1. Game 28: Washington (12-15) vs. St. Louis (18-10). Monday, April 29
Result: Cardinals win 6-3
Season series: Cardinals lead 1-0
How it Happened: Coming off two back-to-back daytime extra innings performances (one loss and win), the Nationals were tired. Washington got out early by putting up three in the third inning but failed to respond when Harrison Bader’s home run triggered a plethora of runs scored by St. Louis in the fifth inning. Corbin gave up six hits over five innings; Miller, Suero and Grace each gave up one.
2. Game 29: Washington (12-16) vs St. Louis (19-10). Tuesday, April 30
Result: Cardinals win 3-2
Season series: Cardinals lead 2-0
How it Happened: Wainwright locked it down for the Cardinals, only letting two score through seven innings pitched via Eaton and Robles home runs in the third inning. St. Louis immediately responded in the third, toppled Washington for the lead, and nobody reached home again that Tuesday evening.
3. Game 30: Washington (12-18) vs St. Louis (20-10). Wednesday, May 1
Result: Cardinals win 5-1
Season series: Cardinals lead 3-0
How it Happened: Scherzer tallied his fourth loss of the season with three earned runs in the first inning. The Nationals only managed to bring one home against Mikolas on a fielder’s choice, handing the Cardinals their fifth straight win.
4. Game 31: Washington (12-19) vs St. Louis (21-10). Thursday, May 2
Result: Nationals win 2-1
Season series: Cardinals lead 3-1
How it Happened: The Nationals finally get everything together to muster a win in front of the home crowd to end this brutal series. In this game, Stephen Strasburg became the fastest pitcher in league history to reach 1,500 strikeouts with the nine he tallied over 6.2 innings pitched Thursday. After an RBI single in the third, the Nationals retake the lead by one in the fourth inning and never look back, anxious for victory.
5. Game 149: Washington (82-67) vs St. Louis (84-66). Monday, September 16
Result: Cardinals win 4-2
Season series: Cardinals lead 4-1
How it Happened: Marcell Ozuna dominated this game in St. Louis with four RBIs and even threw out Cabrera at home after Zimmerman scored on Robles’ single to put the Nationals on board. Anthony Rendon efforted a solo homer to tie it up, but Ozuna powered Fowler and Goldschmidt home to take the lead and game, handing the loss to Doolittle. The Nationals were 10 games back after losing to the NL Central king Cardinals.
6. Game 150: Washington (83-67) vs St. Louis (84-67). Tuesday, September 17
Result: Nationals win 6-2
Season series: Cardinals lead 4-2
How it Happened: This is the last win the Nationals had over the Cardinals, thanks to strong pitching and Howie Kendrick’s hot bat. Kendrick was a triple shy of the cycle, and St. Louis failed to tack on any earned runs on Corbin for an unreal 6.0
7. Game 151: Washington (84-67) vs St. Louis (84-68). Wednesday, September 18
Result: Cardinals win 5-1
Season series: Cardinals lead 5-2
How it Happened: The Cardinals had officially led the NL Central for one month at this point. In arguably Scherzer’s worst outing of the regular season this year, Mad Max mustered 11 strikeouts but five earned runs over 6.2 innings pitched. Wainwright almost silenced the Nationals had it not been for Trea Turner’s RBI double in the seventh.
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