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During the regular season, Craig Stammen was about as consistent and reliable an arm as Davey Johnson had out of the bullpen. His 2.34 ERA was the best among relievers on the roster.

The playoffs have been a rough about-face for Stammen, who has an 11.57 ERA. He gave up another earned run Wednesday and hit another batter, his third of the series.

“Just can’t make mistakes. You can’t hit batters. That was the key,” Johnson said. “Just didn’t do the things he had done all year.”

In 59 regular-season appearances, Stammen hit just two batters, a testament to his control that has gone awry in the playoffs against the Cardinals.

Johnson frustrated by call

When Danny Espinosa laid down a bunt in the second inning, it looked like he got to first base before the throw. First base umpire Jim Joyce ruled otherwise, which didn’t make Johnson the least bit happy.

“Just how come I’m 20 years older than you and I see him as safe,” the Nationals’ manager said. “And he said he thought he got it right. I said, check the replay. He said, ‘I don’t have the luxury of doing that right now.’ But it was just one play.”

Kurt Suzuki and Jackson were then retired to end the inning.

Around the horn

Wednesday’s attendance of 45,017 was the largest in Nationals Park history. … Center fielder Bryce Harper is 1-for-14 in the series. … The Cardinals have five home runs against Nationals pitching through three games.