Behind Chris Carpenter, Cardinals smash Nationals 8-0 in Game 3

Patrick McDermott - Getty Images

St. Louis took a 2-1 lead over Washington in their Division Series with a blowout in Game 3, in D.C.'s first postseason game since 1933.

Wednesday afternoon, Washington, D.C. hosted its first postseason baseball game since 1933, when the American League's Nationals faced off against the National League's New York Giants. That was Game 5, and it didn't go well as the Nationals lost to the Giants, who clinched the World's Championship.

Wednesday's game didn't end well for the home fans, either, as the St. Louis Cardinals shut out the National League's Washington Nationals, 8-0 in Game 3 of their Division Series.

Yes, the Nationals gave up eight runs to the St. Louis Cardinals.

No, having Stephen Strasburg on the mound probably wouldn't have helped much, considering the final score.

Maybe it's a stretch to say the Cardinals just had their hitting shoes on, and it wouldn't have mattered who pitched for the Nationals. But it's hardly a stretch to suggest that the Nationals probably wouldn't have scored more runs if Strasburg had been in their lineup.

Chris Carpenter started only three games in the regular season, but his history and his performance in those three games -- and maybe his brilliant history in the postseason -- earned him the nod in Game 3. And while he gave up hits in each of the first five innings, it was never more than one hit. Carpenter finally got into some real trouble in the bottom of the sixth, but reliever Trevor Rosenthal bailed him out by getting Jayson Werth on a pop foul to end the inning.

By that point the score was 6-0, with three of those six runs coming in the second inning. Edwin Jackson started for the Nationals, and for some reason was, early on, feeding the Cardinals a steady diet of four-seam fastballs cutting through the strike zone. This didn't work out so well in the second, when David Freese led off with a double, Daniel Descalso singled, and rookie shortstop Pete Kozma launched a home run into the left-field stands to make the score 4-0.

Jackson did pitch well enough through the rest of his five-inning stint, but the damage had been done. With Jackson out of the game, St. Louis tacked on single insurance runs in the sixth on Descalso's sacrifice fly, and in the seventh on Yadier Molina's bases-loaded walk (just after Davey Johnson ordered an intentional walk to load the bases). As if that weren't enough, a two-out rally in the eighth netted two more runs to make the score 8-0.

Ian Desmond did enjoy a nice game for the Nationals, with three hits. He was stranded every time, of course, and the Nationals finished the game with 11 stranded runners.

Meanwhile, Carpenter is just the second pitcher in major-league history to start and win a postseason game after going winless during the regular season. The first was Virgil "Fire" Trucks, who started just once in 1945 before winning a game for the Tigers against the Cubs in the 1945 World Series.

Game 4 in this series is set for Thursday at 4:07 Eastern Time, with Kyle Lohse starting for the Cardinals, Ross Detwiler for the Nationals.

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