Nats take 2-0 NLCS lead over Cardinals

Ben Krimmel
October 12, 2019 - 7:07 pm
Nationals take 2-0 NLCS lead over Cardinals

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

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The Washington Nationals like to say they take it one game at a time. 

But in St. Louis, the Nats went for the double-dip and thanks to a pair of dominating starting pitching performances from Aníbal Sánchez in Game 1 and ace Max Scherzer on Saturday, the Wild Card team has a 2-0 NLCS lead over the St. Louis Cardinals after a 3-1 win in Game 2.

And the pitching has really been the story for Washington. Through 18 innings of the series, Nationals pitchers have held the Cardinals to one run on four hits. And Sánchez and Scherzer combined to allow just two hits while recording 44 of 54 outs. 

Fighting a tough sun, the Nationals got on the board in the top of the third inning on Michael A. Taylor solo homer. 

And that was all Scherzer needed as he was dealing. He struck out 10 through six innings without allowing a single hit. 

Scherzer exited the game after seven stellar innings allowing just a single to Paul Goldschmidt and two walks while striking out 11 Cardinals. The Nationals ace was nothing short of magnificent. 

Nationals manager Davey Martinez turned to Matt Adams to bat for his starter with one out in the top of the 8th inning and the move worked out with a single to right field. Trea Turner followed with a bloop single into right center and the Nationals finally had something cooking against St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright. After an extended battle with Adam Eaton, the Nats' outfielder broke the game open with a two-run double down past a diving Goldschmidt at first to put the Nats up 3-0. 

Washington gave one run back in the bottom half of the inning after Taylor misplayed a two-out line drive hit right at him in center field to cut it to a 3-1 lead.

In the 9th, Martinez went to starter Patrick Corbin to get left hander Kolten Wong before Daniel Hudson, off of paternity leave, came on to face Goldshmidt and Marcell Ozuna. It was no problem as fly out and foul pop out gave the Nationals a 2-0 lead in the series.

But thanks to the starting pitching the Nationals have a 2-0 series lead and need only two wins out of the next three games, they can clinch their first World Series appearance in franchise history at Nationals Park.

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