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“With the first two on the road, you say to yourself, ‘If we get out of here with a split, we’re in good shape,’” said Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo after Sunday’s win. “Now you get greedy. You get the first one and you try to get the sweep here and go home even better.”

“It’s tough to start on the road,” first baseman Adam LaRoche said. “Game 1 in a short series like this is huge, I think, more than anything. Because now, for the Cardinals, since we won Game 1, this is kind of a must-win. You don’t want to get down two games in any series, but definitely not in a five-game.”

The five-game series puts less emphasis on where the games are played, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said.

But Washington is acutely aware home field will be important should it advance to the NL Championship Series.

“If you want to win a series, you’re going to have to win a game on the road, whether you’re home field or not,” Zimmerman said. “I think obviously you don’t want to look ahead and we have a lot of work to do to win this series, but it really helps you next series.

“In a five-game series, anything can happen. If you start on the road [and] you split on the road, you’re looking pretty good going home. If you can somehow win both games, you’re looking really good going home. I think in a seven-game series it’s huge, which, because we won the regular season and all that, we’d have that next. But we’ve got to take business here, and this isn’t going to be an easy series to win.”

Game 3 time, TV announced

The first major league postseason game in the District in 79 years will be an old-fashioned weekday afternoon affair.

Game 3 of the NLDS will start at 1:07 p.m. Wednesday and will be televised on MLB Network with Bob Costas and Jim Kaat on the call.

There will be no over-the-air option for D.C.-area viewers who don’t get MLB Network, as there is with a Thursday night NFL Network game.

Limited standing-room-only tickets for Game 3 will go on sale at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Nationals Park box office. Some single seats remain for purchase online and at the box office.

TV ratings all relative

Fittingly, Sunday’s TBS telecast of Game 1 of the NLDS drew the highest rating in the Washington market since baseball returned in 2005, an 8.4.

It would appear the District still has a ways to go as a baseball market compared to its neighbor to the north, though.

MLB said TBS pulled a 20.4 rating in Baltimore for Sunday’s Orioles-Yankees ALDS opener — despite the start of the game being delayed about 2 1/2 hours because of rain.

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