Experienced Cardinals turn the page to NLDS Game 5

  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) jumps for joy before he crosses the plate with a ninth-inning walk-off home run to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, evening the series at 2-2, between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) jumps for joy before he crosses the plate with a ninth-inning walk-off home run to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, evening the series at 2-2, between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) jumps for joy before he crosses the plate with a ninth-inning walk-off home run to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, evening the series at 2-2, between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) jumps for joy before he crosses the plate with a ninth-inning walk-off home run to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, evening the series at 2-2, between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) jumps for joy before he crosses the plate with a ninth-inning walk-off home run to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, evening the series at 2-2, between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) jumps for joy before he crosses the plate with a ninth-inning walk-off home run to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, evening the series at 2-2, between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11), center, and his teammates celebrate as Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11), center, and his teammates celebrate as Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Fans celebrate as Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Fans celebrate as Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) strikes out the side in the seventh inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) strikes out the side in the seventh inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Cardinals players an manager Mike Methany talk with starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Cardinals players an manager Mike Methany talk with starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Fans battle for Jayson Werth's batting glove after the outfielder hit a solo walk off home run in the ninth inning to give the Nationals a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Fans battle for Jayson Werth's batting glove after the outfielder hit a solo walk off home run in the ninth inning to give the Nationals a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • A fan reacts to a Drew Storen pitch being called a ball in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)A fan reacts to a Drew Storen pitch being called a ball in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Nats fans cheer as Drew Storen strikes out a Cardinal in the ninth inning of  Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Nats fans cheer as Drew Storen strikes out a Cardinal in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • A fan reacts to a Drew Storen pitch being called a ball in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)A fan reacts to a Drew Storen pitch being called a ball in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals players go nuts as right fielder Jayson Werth (28) rounds  with a ninth-inning walk-off home run to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, evening the series at 2-2, between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Washington Nationals players go nuts as right fielder Jayson Werth (28) rounds with a ninth-inning walk-off home run to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, evening the series at 2-2, between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a solo walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth-inning to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, and pull them even, 2-2, in the series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a solo walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth-inning to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, and pull them even, 2-2, in the series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a solo walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth-inning to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, and pull them even, 2-2, in the series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a solo walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth-inning to give the Nats a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, and pull them even, 2-2, in the series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • A Nats fan shows the tension of a 1-1 tie game in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)A Nats fan shows the tension of a 1-1 tie game in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Cardinals players disperse after meeting on the mound with starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Cardinals players disperse after meeting on the mound with starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Cardinals players an manager Mike Methany talk with starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Cardinals players an manager Mike Methany talk with starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • A Nats fan is the face of the tension of a 1-1 extra inning game in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)A Nats fan is the face of the tension of a 1-1 extra inning game in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) strikes out the side in the seventh inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) strikes out the side in the seventh inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) strikes out the side in the seventh inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) strikes out the side in the seventh inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Bryce Harper shows his disappointment at striking out in the bottom of the sixth inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Bryce Harper shows his disappointment at striking out in the bottom of the sixth inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Fans cheer as Washington Nationals relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (36) reacts after striking out the side in the eight inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Fans cheer as Washington Nationals relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (36) reacts after striking out the side in the eight inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (36) reacts after striking out the side in the eight inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (36) reacts after striking out the side in the eight inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa (8) throws to first after missing a force play at second base in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa (8) throws to first after missing a force play at second base in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals left fielder Michael Morse (38) strikes out to end the fourth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals left fielder Michael Morse (38) strikes out to end the fourth inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • A ball girl give a ball to a young fan in the fifth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)A ball girl give a ball to a young fan in the fifth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) is congratulated by teammates after he scored from third base on a sacrifice fly by Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) to tie the game 1-1 during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) is congratulated by teammates after he scored from third base on a sacrifice fly by Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) to tie the game 1-1 during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34) throws home too late on a sacrifice fly ball hit by Cardinals' Carlos Beltran (3) which scores Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) from third base to tie the game 1-1 during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34) throws home too late on a sacrifice fly ball hit by Cardinals' Carlos Beltran (3) which scores Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) from third base to tie the game 1-1 during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) hits a sacrifice fly to center field which scores Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) from third base to tie the game 1-1 during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) hits a sacrifice fly to center field which scores Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) from third base to tie the game 1-1 during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) tags out Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) on a third inning sacrifice bunt during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) tags out Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) on a third inning sacrifice bunt during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The Teddy Roosevelt racing president wins again during
Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)The Teddy Roosevelt racing president wins again during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Erik Sullivan and his son, Timmy Sullivan, 8, of Arlington, Va., wave their rally towels during the first inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Erik Sullivan and his son, Timmy Sullivan, 8, of Arlington, Va., wave their rally towels during the first inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Fans go wild as Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is congratulated by teammates after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Fans go wild as Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is congratulated by teammates after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Timmy Sullivan, 8, of Arlington, Va., waves his rally towels during the first inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Timmy Sullivan, 8, of Arlington, Va., waves his rally towels during the first inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Fans wave their rally towels as the Nationals take the field for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Fans wave their rally towels as the Nationals take the field for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals fans file into Nationals Park for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Nationals fans file into Nationals Park for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals fans file into Nationals Park for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Nationals fans file into Nationals Park for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals fans file into Nationals Park for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Nationals fans file into Nationals Park for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals fans file into Nationals Park for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Nationals fans file into Nationals Park for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is congratulated by teammates after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is congratulated by teammates after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is congratulated by teammates after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is congratulated by teammates after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is congratulated by Nationals left fielder Michael Morse (38) after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is congratulated by Nationals left fielder Michael Morse (38) after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) rounds the bases after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) rounds the bases after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) hits a solo home-runof of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) hits a solo home-runof of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.(Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) strikes out to end the bottom of the first inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) strikes out to end the bottom of the first inning during Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) rounds the bases after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) rounds the bases after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) rounds the bases after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) rounds the bases after his solo home-run in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead inGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay (19) watches a solo home-run by Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) clear the wall in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay (19) watches a solo home-run by Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) clear the wall in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) hits a solo home-runof of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) hits a solo home-runof of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) in the bottom of the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 in Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Former Washington Senators great Frank Howard throws out the ceremonial first pitch to Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012.  (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Former Washington Senators great Frank Howard throws out the ceremonial first pitch to Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Nationals manager Davey Johnson greets former Washington Senators great Frank Howard throws out the ceremonial first pitch beforeGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Nationals manager Davey Johnson greets former Washington Senators great Frank Howard throws out the ceremonial first pitch beforeGame 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Manager Davey Johnson and the Nationals listen to the National Anthem before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Manager Davey Johnson and the Nationals listen to the National Anthem before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler (48) takes the field for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler (48) takes the field for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Former Washington Senators great Frank Howard throws out the ceremonial first pitch to Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Former Washington Senators great Frank Howard throws out the ceremonial first pitch to Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Bryce Harper watches Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman fist bump teammates before the start of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Bryce Harper watches Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman fist bump teammates before the start of Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Fans wave their Natitude rally towels as the players are introduced before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Fans wave their Natitude rally towels as the players are introduced before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34),  shortstop Ian Desmond (20) and first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) wait to take the field before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34), shortstop Ian Desmond (20) and first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) wait to take the field before Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Aiden Bayne, 3, waves his rally towel as he arrives for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Aiden Bayne, 3, waves his rally towel as he arrives for Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • Cal Banasvewski [cq], 3, eats popcorn while waiting to watch his first ever Nationals game; Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)Cal Banasvewski [cq], 3, eats popcorn while waiting to watch his first ever Nationals game; Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park, Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Craig Bisacre/The Washington Times)
  • The Washington Nationals warm up in the outfield before playing the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)The Washington Nationals warm up in the outfield before playing the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The Washington Nationals warm up before playing the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)The Washington Nationals warm up before playing the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The Washington Nationals warm up before playing the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)The Washington Nationals warm up before playing the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizo before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizo before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizo, left, talks with owner Mark Lerner, right, before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizo, left, talks with owner Mark Lerner, right, before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizo, left, talks with owner Mark Lerner, right, before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizo, left, talks with owner Mark Lerner, right, before the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) heads to the locker room after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) heads to the locker room after hitting a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • A fan holds up a poster as Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)A fan holds up a poster as Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) hits a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki (24) dodges an errant ball to be walked in the eight inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki (24) dodges an errant ball to be walked in the eight inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese (23) reacts as he is struck out in the 9th inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese (23) reacts as he is struck out in the 9th inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) reacts on a ball at the plate in the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) reacts on a ball at the plate in the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Fans cheer on Washington Nationals relief pitcher Drew Storen (22) as he pitches at the top of the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Fans cheer on Washington Nationals relief pitcher Drew Storen (22) as he pitches at the top of the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) makes a diving catch on a ball popped up by St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter (13) for the final out of the top of the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) makes a diving catch on a ball popped up by St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter (13) for the final out of the top of the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals relief pitcher Drew Storen (22) give a fist pump after a pop up by St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter (13) is caught by Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) to close out the top of the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals relief pitcher Drew Storen (22) give a fist pump after a pop up by St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter (13) is caught by Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) to close out the top of the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) argues a call after he is struck out at the top of the third as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) argues a call after he is struck out at the top of the third as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) reacts on a strike  at the plate during the 3rd inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) reacts on a strike at the plate during the 3rd inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler (48) sits on the bench during the fifth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler (48) sits on the bench during the fifth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The Washington Nationals comes back off the field as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)The Washington Nationals comes back off the field as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34) warms his hands in the dugout as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34) warms his hands in the dugout as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler (48) smiles as he finishes for the day as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Ross Detwiler (48) smiles as he finishes for the day as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

The visitors’ clubhouse at Nationals Park was a quiet place Thursday night.

The energy of the St. Louis Cardinals’ 8-0 win the night before had vanished as catcher Yadier Molina bristled past reporters toward the exit. The few players standing at their lockers were serious and stern. Beats from familiar rap tunes echoed in the background.

Minutes earlier, the stadium outside those clubhouse walls had erupted as Jayson Werth hit a walk-off home run on the thirteenth pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Washington Nationals a 2-1 win and knot the National League Division Series at 2-2.

It was the toughest loss imaginable for the reigning World Series champion Cardinals, who were perhaps one or two big hits away from advancing to the National League Championship Series for the second consecutive year.

“You don’t want to end a game like that, for us, but it’s part of the game,” outfielder Carlos Beltran said. “Tomorrow is going to be the biggest game for them and for us. They’re having the best pitcher for them [Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez[, we have [Adam] Wainwright, who has a lot of experience in these types of situations. So we feel confident.”

If there’s one thing to be said about the Cardinals, it’s that they’ve definitely been in bigger holes than this. Down 7-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, for example, St. Louis third baseman David Freese walked to the plate with two on, two out and the season on his shoulders. He tripled to deep right field and tied the game, and the Cardinals went on to win the series the following day.

While Washington’s roster is littered with rookies and playoff newcomers, St. Louis is as savvy as they come. Beltran, Molina, outfielder Matt Holliday and company have shown poise throughout the postseason. Even rookie shortstop Pete Kozma, who drew three walks Thursday, has shown confidence beyond his years.

“When you speak of experience, obviously it helps,” first baseman Allen Craig said. “But this year’s a new year and we’re going to play like a team and find a way to do it. We can’t always rely on what we did last year. There’s definitely some things that we can look back on tomorrow, but tomorrow’s a new day and we’ve got to get it done tomorrow.”

Added Freese: “[The Nationals] aren’t fazed. At all. And neither are we. It’s just going to be like how it was a year ago.”

Heartbreak like Thursday’s has been familiar for the Cardinals all season. Of their 74 losses this year, 26 came in one-run ball games. Twelve were in extra innings. The feeling they experienced in the clubhouse Thursday night was nothing new.

“I think that’s really been used to develop the character of this team and the resiliency,” manager Mike Matheny said. “These guys realize that we’ve got an opportunity to come back and play another game. They do shed it pretty quick.”

Nobody wants to forget the night more than Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn, whose 3-2 fastball sailed into the left field seats on the final pitch of the game and 13th pitch of the at-bat. He dressed very slowly after the game before being mobbed by reporters at his locker. A string of questions were answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” When asked about the at-bat, Lynn quipped, “3-2 heater. He beat me.”

“It may have been my best pitch and he blew out of the ballpark,” he said after a while. “You tip your cap to him and get ready to play tomorrow.”

Tomorrow. That’s what nearly every person in the Cardinals’ clubhouse talked about after their series-tying loss. With Werth’s home run behind them and their season on the line, tomorrow is all St. Louis cares to think about.

“This is baseball,” Lynn continued. “You forget about it the next day when you go back out there.”

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player