Article

Nationals one win away from World Series after taking 3-0 NLCS lead

October 15 2019 5:58 AM

The Washington Nationals are on the verge of a MLB World Series berth after easing past the St Louis Cardinals 8-1 in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.

The Cardinals' backs are against the wall, and they have little time to turn things around.

 

Here are three takeaways from Washington's win:

Strasburg was electric

Stephen Strasburg was flat-out dominant against St Louis. The right-handed ace threw a season-high 117 pitches and struck out 12 batters in seven innings of work. He mowed down the Cardinals with his off-speed pitches consistently as they tried to anticipate his choices all night.

St Louis' lone run against Strasburg came after Juan Soto slipped while trying to make a throw from the outfield and missed the cut-off man. This mistake snapped the Nationals starters' streak of more than 20 innings without giving up a score in the series.

The Cardinals tallied seven hits on the night and only one was an extra-base hit. That is what good pitching can do.

Washington's "old guys" made a big difference

The Nationals have a host of seasoned veterans on their roster, including 36-year-old Howie Kendrick and 35-year-old Ryan Zimmerman. Both had impressive performances in Game 3. Kendrick went three for four with three RBIs on three doubles while Zimmerman went two for four with two RBIs. Max Scherzer could not have been more right when he said "old guys can still do it," last week.

Washington's experience could prove to be vital again in Game 4 on Tuesday, and sweeping the Cardinals will give them more recovery time as they prepare for a World Series push.

Cardinals' stars failed to show up

It is easy to see no Cardinals player had a great showing when the box score shows zero RBIs, but too many of their top performers had no impact on the game offensively. Paul Goldschmidt, Kolten Wong and Dexter Fowler went a combined 0 for 12 against the Nationals. 

Goldschmidt and Fowler combined for seven strikeouts in their eight at-bats and unfortunate performances like that will almost always lead to defeat.

The top of the Cardinals' line-up will have to be better and create some momentum if the team hope to put up a fight against Washington.

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