If there is any team in baseball that can commiserate with the Los Angeles Dodgers it is the Washington Nationals. At present the Dodgers are down 2-0 in their best of seven NLCS to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Nationals had a chance to close out the Cards in the 2012 NLDS Game 5. Washington blew a 6-0 lead and three times had the Cards down to their final strike only to lose 9-7 to St. Louis in ways that still can’t be explained.
You see Dodger fans, the Cardinals are like vampires; you really have you drive a stake through their hearts to finish them off. They kill you with hits that just seem to find a way to get past the glove of a diving infielder. They foul off good pitch after good pitch then get the one they want and guide it into the outfield to a spot of grass just about three feet in front of the oncoming outfielders.
What is so bothersome about the Cardinals is how they can take outstanding pitching and make stars look human. Gio Gonzalez was pitching in that fifth game of the NLDS and looking good. Then the Cardinals started “moving the line.” It starts with a walk, then a hit, then a bunt to advance the runners, and then another walk, a strikeout, a couple of more singles and before you know it that 6-0 lead is down to 6-4 and there hasn’t been an extra base hit.
Look, the Dodgers lost the first two games of the 2013 NLCS to St. Louis, despite using their two best pitchers, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw. Who could have ever seen that coming?
Here is hoping that you can flip the script now that the action has moved west to Dodgers Stadium. The Dodgers could start getting those key hits, take charge of the series, win three straight at home and then head back to Busch Stadium in the driver’s seat.
But Nationals fans will be the first to tell you these Cardinals aren’t out of it til the final out. So if you do happen to get some momentum going then by all means do not let up because the Cardinals – to use a movie title – Die Hard.