Michael Morse fails with runners in scoring position

  • A Nats fan winces toward the end of the game as the Washington Nationals lose to the St. Louis Cardinals 8-0 in Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)A Nats fan winces toward the end of the game as the Washington Nationals lose to the St. Louis Cardinals 8-0 in Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Jose Salmeron of Arlington, Va. has his picture taken with Abe Lincoln, one of the "Four Presidents," at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Jose Salmeron of Arlington, Va. has his picture taken with Abe Lincoln, one of the "Four Presidents," at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Mark Bresny of Fairfax, Va. waves a t-shirt in the air to try to rally fellow Nationals fans during the third game of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Mark Bresny of Fairfax, Va. waves a t-shirt in the air to try to rally fellow Nationals fans during the third game of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Nicholas Argow, 4, of Alexandria, Va. plays in his seat in the outfield at Nationals Park during the third game of the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Nicholas Argow, 4, of Alexandria, Va. plays in his seat in the outfield at Nationals Park during the third game of the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Zach Mancher, left, of Washington, D.C. and Tyler Reed of Alexandria, Va. cheer as the Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals during game three of the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Zach Mancher, left, of Washington, D.C. and Tyler Reed of Alexandria, Va. cheer as the Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals during game three of the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Cardinals' Carlos Beltran is introduced during opening ceremonies as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)Cardinals' Carlos Beltran is introduced during opening ceremonies as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • Former Nationals manager and Hall of Fame outfielder Frank Robinson throws the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Washington Nationals hosting the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)Former Nationals manager and Hall of Fame outfielder Frank Robinson throws the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Washington Nationals hosting the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • Fans wave towels in the stands in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)Fans wave towels in the stands in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • Fans wave their flag in the stands as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)Fans wave their flag in the stands as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • A man taunts the Cardinals above their dugout after as the Washington Nationals lost to 8-0 the St. Louis Cardinals during Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)A man taunts the Cardinals above their dugout after as the Washington Nationals lost to 8-0 the St. Louis Cardinals during Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals relief pitchers Christian Garcia (56) and Mike Gonzalez (51) sit in the dugout before Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
Washington Nationals relief pitchers Christian Garcia (56) and Mike Gonzalez (51) sit in the dugout before Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny (22) and Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson (5) shake hands at home plate before Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny (22) and Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson (5) shake hands at home plate before Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Players from the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Nationals stand during the National Anthem before Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
Players from the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Nationals stand during the National Anthem before Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • A lone glove rises out of the right field stands during Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
A lone glove rises out of the right field stands during Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Brennan Willmott-McMahon (L) and Jonathan Willmott, from Alexandria, Va., sport rally caps in the bottom of the 9th to no avail, as the Washington Nationals would go on to lose to the St. Louis Cardinals 8-0 in Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
Brennan Willmott-McMahon (L) and Jonathan Willmott, from Alexandria, Va., sport rally caps in the bottom of the 9th to no avail, as the Washington Nationals would go on to lose to the St. Louis Cardinals 8-0 in Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Vincenzo Fiorino, 5 of Annandale, Va., cheers for Nationals players as they are announced during opening ceremonies as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Vincenzo Fiorino, 5 of Annandale, Va., cheers for Nationals players as they are announced during opening ceremonies as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Teddy wins the presidents race again as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Teddy wins the presidents race again as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • "I've been waiting all my life [for this]," says Gaithersburg resident Mike Bucci, who says he couldn't sleep last night. He got to Nationals Park when the gates opened at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 because he had a standing-room-only ticket. Here he reads his book while waiting for the game to begin. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)"I've been waiting all my life [for this]," says Gaithersburg resident Mike Bucci, who says he couldn't sleep last night. He got to Nationals Park when the gates opened at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 because he had a standing-room-only ticket. Here he reads his book while waiting for the game to begin. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Fans leave the stadium after the Washington Nationals lose to the St. Louis Cardinals 8-0 in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Fans leave the stadium after the Washington Nationals lose to the St. Louis Cardinals 8-0 in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Fans show their disappointment as the Washington Nationals lose to the St. Louis Cardinals 8-0 in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Fans show their disappointment as the Washington Nationals lose to the St. Louis Cardinals 8-0 in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Don Miller, of Falls Church, Va., sits alone in the stands prior to the Washington Nationals hosting the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)Don Miller, of Falls Church, Va., sits alone in the stands prior to the Washington Nationals hosting the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals pitcher Tyler Clippard signs autographs Oct. 10, 2012, prior to Game 3 of the National League Division Series between the Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)Washington Nationals pitcher Tyler Clippard signs autographs Oct. 10, 2012, prior to Game 3 of the National League Division Series between the Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • The Washington Nationals fans wait in line to buy tickets to the Nats' first home playoff game on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. Standing-room-only seats were being sold for $30 each, and there were 829 available for purchase. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)The Washington Nationals fans wait in line to buy tickets to the Nats' first home playoff game on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. Standing-room-only seats were being sold for $30 each, and there were 829 available for purchase. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Jeri Bush of Washington, D.C. holds up her ticket for the first home game in the National League Division Series. She arrived at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 to buy her ticket in the standing-room-only section. Some 829 tickets were available for those who wanted to stand and watch the game. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Jeri Bush of Washington, D.C. holds up her ticket for the first home game in the National League Division Series. She arrived at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 to buy her ticket in the standing-room-only section. Some 829 tickets were available for those who wanted to stand and watch the game. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • The Washington Nationals play their first home playoff game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. against the Saint Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. Fans stood in line early in the morning to buy some of the 829 standing-room-only tickets, which were being sold for $30 each. As fans entered the stadium they were given red "W" rally towels. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)The Washington Nationals play their first home playoff game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. against the Saint Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. Fans stood in line early in the morning to buy some of the 829 standing-room-only tickets, which were being sold for $30 each. As fans entered the stadium they were given red "W" rally towels. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • The Washington Nationals Drumline plays outside Nationals Park before the first home game in the National League Division Series in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)The Washington Nationals Drumline plays outside Nationals Park before the first home game in the National League Division Series in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Fans gather outside of Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 for the Nationals' first home playoff game. The words "October Natitude" have been painted on the street in front of the Center Gate Field. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Fans gather outside of Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 for the Nationals' first home playoff game. The words "October Natitude" have been painted on the street in front of the Center Gate Field. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • A young fan holds up his tickets for the Nationals' first home playoff game at Nationals Park on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)A young fan holds up his tickets for the Nationals' first home playoff game at Nationals Park on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals fans enter Nationals Park when the gates open at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 for the first home game in the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals fans enter Nationals Park when the gates open at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 for the first home game in the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Tom O'Brien of Owen, Md., left, and Wil Yow of Woodbridge, Va., right, watch warms ups before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Tom O'Brien of Owen, Md., left, and Wil Yow of Woodbridge, Va., right, watch warms ups before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Ricardo Carmenates of Alexandria, Va., and his son R.J., 7, make their way into the stadium before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Ricardo Carmenates of Alexandria, Va., and his son R.J., 7, make their way into the stadium before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Fans watch warm ups before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Fans watch warm ups before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • A Washington Nationals fan holds up his 1955 Roy Sievers baseball card on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 during the National League Division Series game at Nationals Park. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)A Washington Nationals fan holds up his 1955 Roy Sievers baseball card on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 during the National League Division Series game at Nationals Park. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals fans drink at The Fairgrounds on Half Street S.E. before the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals fans drink at The Fairgrounds on Half Street S.E. before the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals fans arrive via Metro at the Navy Yard station in Southeast Washington, D.C. for the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Nationals fans arrive via Metro at the Navy Yard station in Southeast Washington, D.C. for the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals fans head up the escalator at the Navy Yard station on their way to the ballpark for the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals fans head up the escalator at the Navy Yard station on their way to the ballpark for the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals fans crowd the platform at the Navy Yard station on their way to the ballpark for the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals fans crowd the platform at the Navy Yard station on their way to the ballpark for the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals fans head up the escalator at the Navy Yard station on their way to the ballpark for the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals fans head up the escalator at the Navy Yard station on their way to the ballpark for the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Shelly Guy, left, high-fives a fan while she and former Talk of the Town pre-game greeter Tim Marrone hang out outside of Nationals Park on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 before the first home game in the National League Division Series. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Shelly Guy, left, high-fives a fan while she and former Talk of the Town pre-game greeter Tim Marrone hang out outside of Nationals Park on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 before the first home game in the National League Division Series. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • A Washington Nationals fan takes his free "Natitude" towel as he walks into Nationals Park for the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. The franchise had some 40,000 of the towels made for fans who attended Wednesday's game. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)A Washington Nationals fan takes his free "Natitude" towel as he walks into Nationals Park for the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. The franchise had some 40,000 of the towels made for fans who attended Wednesday's game. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Five-year-old Ian Redding of Falls Church, Va. gets a "curly W" painted on one cheek and the number 20 on the other, because his favorite player is Ian Desmond. He and his dad took the day to come to see the Washington Nationals play against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first home game in the National League Divison Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Five-year-old Ian Redding of Falls Church, Va. gets a "curly W" painted on one cheek and the number 20 on the other, because his favorite player is Ian Desmond. He and his dad took the day to come to see the Washington Nationals play against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first home game in the National League Divison Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • David Chheng of Herndon, Va. smiles as he holds up his ticket for the first home playoff game at Nationals Park on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. He got to the stadium at 8:35 and paid $30 for the standing-room-only seat. He says he also follows the Orioles (thus the sweatshirt), and would love to see the two teams play one another. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)David Chheng of Herndon, Va. smiles as he holds up his ticket for the first home playoff game at Nationals Park on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. He got to the stadium at 8:35 and paid $30 for the standing-room-only seat. He says he also follows the Orioles (thus the sweatshirt), and would love to see the two teams play one another. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Shellie Bowers Jr. of Washington, D.C. holds his "Bucket List" sign outside of Nationals Park before the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Shellie Bowers Jr. of Washington, D.C. holds his "Bucket List" sign outside of Nationals Park before the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Tim Marrone, left, with Talk of the Town high-fives 8-year-old Adam Astacio of Arlington, Va. outside of Nationals Park before the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Tim Marrone, left, with Talk of the Town high-fives 8-year-old Adam Astacio of Arlington, Va. outside of Nationals Park before the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • The crowd outside Nationals Park is seen reflected in one of the silver baseballs that hang outside the ticket office before the start of game three of the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)The crowd outside Nationals Park is seen reflected in one of the silver baseballs that hang outside the ticket office before the start of game three of the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • The stands at Nationals Park are filled with red in support of the Washington Nationals during the third game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. More than 45,000 fans attended the game. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)The stands at Nationals Park are filled with red in support of the Washington Nationals during the third game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. More than 45,000 fans attended the game. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals fans drink at The Fairgrounds on Half Street S.E. before the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals fans drink at The Fairgrounds on Half Street S.E. before the first home game in the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Fans wait for a break in play to be allowed back into the stands at Nationals Park during the third game of the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Fans wait for a break in play to be allowed back into the stands at Nationals Park during the third game of the National League Division Series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
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It wouldn’t have taken much to make a crowd of 45,017 at Nationals Park explode. Perhaps a big hit by Michael Morse with the bases loaded in the fifth inning that could have tied the score against the St. Louis Cardinals would’ve done the trick.

“Mikey Mo had a chance to get the fans on their feet,” infielder Mark DeRosa said.

Instead, Morse flew out to right, part of his rough 0-for-4 day that was emblematic of the Washington Nationals’ teamwide struggles with runners in scoring position. The big left fielder came up small, 0-for-2 in those spots in the Nationals’ 8-0 Game 3 loss in National League Division Series  on Wednesday.

“It’s the same as regular season. It’s nothing different,” Morse said. “[Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter] threw some good pitches; he’s a good pitcher.”

The Nats as a team were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Morse had two big chances to change the course of Game 3, first with runners on the corners and two outs in the first and the Nationals already trailing 1-0. After making Carpenter work, he struck out swinging.

“He threw a good pitch,” Morse said. “He threw a cutter away.”

The most talked about at-bat, though, came in the fifth with the bases loaded and Carpenter tiring. Morse looked for something over the middle and got a sinker inside; the fly out to right ended the threat.

“Mikey’s been great all year, and I think a lot of us have done well in those positions this year. We have a bunch of guys that have driven in a lot of runs,” third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. “Mikey put a good swing on it, it just got in on him. That’s one of the cases where he made a good pitch.”

Second inning of doom

As Edwin Jackson watched Pete Kozma round the bases after depositing a fastball into the left-field seats, it was an all-too-familiar sight for the Nationals in this series. Through three games, the Nationals have imploded in the second inning, giving up nine runs on eight hits.

The Cardinals took advantage of Gio Gonzalez’s inaccuracy in Game 1 and shelled Jordan Zimmermann to the tune of four straight hits on the way to the showers in Game 2. In Game 3, Jackson allowed a leadoff double by David Freese then a single by Daniel Descalso before Kozma’s home run, which made it 4-0.

Asked to explain why the Cardinals have shelled the Nationals in the second inning, Jackson replied: “I’m not sure. I wish I could answer it. It just coincidentally happened like that, I guess.”

Stammen’s struggles continue

Story Continues →

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