Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Nationals win on Jayson Werth walkoff home run

Werth's solo shot leading off the ninth inning tied the Nats/Cards division series at two games each.

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Jayson Werth and Lance Lynn: Pitch by pitch

You saw the homer, but you might have missed everything that preceded it. Here's a look at one of the greatest at-bats you'll ever see.


Jayson Werth blasts walk-off homer, Nats win 2-1

In a game that featured ridiculous relief work from both sides, it was a starting pitcher who gave up the last run of the game. Jayson Werth took a 3-2 fastball from Lance Lynn and drove it into the left-field stands, sending the Nationals to Game 5 of the National League Division Series on Friday.

Werth took two called strikes before working the count full, and he ended up getting 13 pitches out of Lynn, seeing a steady diet of fastballs and curveballs. Lynn, who usually works in the low-to-mid 90s as a starter, was throwing 96 and 97 in relief, but Werth fouled off seven pitches before getting a hold of the game-winner.

Drew Storen gets the win in relief for the Nats, as he pitched a scoreless top of the ninth. The Nationals' bullpen did not allow a hit in three innings, walking two and striking out eight batters.


Nationals looking for game-winner in 9th

Well, we finally got our National League pitchers' duel.

After 17 half-innings in Nationals Park, each team has scored precisely one run.

Nationals starter Ross Detwiler wasn't overpowering, but he gave up just that single run, and unearned to boot. Detwiler threw 104 pitches in six innings, which was actually past his usual curfew. In the seventh, Jordan Zimmermann struck out three Cardinals. In the eighth, Tyler Clippard struck out three Cardinals. In the ninth, Drew Storen struck out two Cardinals, then issued a walk to Pete Kozma before getting pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter on a pop fly.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Nationals start at the top of their order: Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman. It's been hard to come by runs in Game 4. But the Nationals need just one.


Clippard takes over in 8th, strikes out 3 Cards

In the seventh, Jordan Zimmermann struck out all three Cardinals he faced.

In Davey Johnson's infinite wisdom, he pulled Zimmermann in favor of Tyler Clippard.

Clippard struck out Carlos Beltran.
Clippard struck out Matt Holliday.
Clippard str-

Nope, he didn't strike out Allen Craig. He walked him. And to be honest, the third strike to Holliday was probably six inches outside, and Jim Joyce just missed it. Nevertheless, with Craig on first base,

Clippard struck out Yadier Molina.

The Cardinals struck out only twice in six innings against Ross Detwiler. But now the big boys are pitching, and they've struck out six times in two innings.

We're on to the bottom of the eighth, and it's still Cardinals 1, Nationals 1.


Zimmermann K's side in 7th, score still 1-1

Hey, so it turns out maybe Jordan Zimmermann can pitch in relief. And against the Cardinals, no less!

Granted, it's just one inning (so far). In the top of the seventh inning, Zimmermann took over from starter Ross Detwiler, with the Nationals and Cardinals tied 1-1 in Game 4 of their Division Series; if the Nats lose this one, they're finished.

With Zimmermann's appearance, Twitter lit up like a freaking Christmas tree in Times Square ...

We're not picking on Bernie Miklasz; he's a friend of SB Nation and we love him. Bernie understands the concept of sample size. Those are just facts, and if Bernie hadn't cited them, we might have.

But it's about sample size. There was little reason to believe that Jordan Zimmermann couldn't enter a game in the seventh and pitch effectively. Or maybe even brilliantly, considering he wouldn't have to pace himself, knowing he'd be asked to throw just one or two innings.

Zimmermann struck out Pete Kozma.
Zimmermann struck out Kyle Lohse.
Zimmermann struck out Allen Craig.

Let's hope we get to see him again in the eighth. Meanwhile, this one's still tied: Cardinals 1, Nationals 1.


Detwiler's day done, but Game 4 still 1-1 in 6th

Ross Detwiler did everything the Nationals wanted him to do.

If not for Strasburger's Syndrome -- if you had Tommy John Surgery two years earlier, you're incapable of throwing more than 160 innings -- Detwiler probably would have been bumped from the Nationals' postseason rotation, with Edwin Jackson filling the fourth slot. After all, Detwiler finished with the rotation's worst strikeout-to-walk ratio, and he was allowed to throw more than 100 pitches just once all season.

But here in Game 4, he's limited the potent Cardinals to just one run in six innings. He's also thrown 104 pitches, a new 2012 high, so he's undoubtedly coming out for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the sixth.

Meanwhile, Kyle Lohse has thrown only 66 pitches in five innings, and might be around for a while yet.


Mike Matheny's Game 4 lineup looks familiar

With right-hander Ross Detwiler starting for the Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has posted his lineup for Game 4 of the clubs' National League Division Series:

1. Jon Jay* - CF
2. Carlos Beltran# - RF
3. Matt Holliday - LF
4. Allen Craig - 1B
5. Yadier Molina - C
6. David Freese - 3B
7. Daniel Descalso* - 2B
8. Pete Kozma - SS
9. Kyle Lohse - P

This is essentially Matheny's standard lineup, perhaps distinguished by the fact that Carlos Beltran, who hit 32 home runs during the regular season and hit two more in Game 2 of this series, is in the No. 2 slot. The bottom third of the order is unimpressive, unless you really believe that Kozma somehow became a good hitter the moment the Cardinals installed him as their every-day shortstop, a month ago.


No surprises in Davey Johnson's Game 4 lineup

If the Washington Nationals, who finished with Major League Baseball's best record during the regular season, lose to the St. Louis Cardinals today, their season is over. So manager Davey Johnson's Game 4 lineup seems kind of important ...

1. Jayson Werth - RF
2. Bryce Harper* - CF
4. Adam LaRoche* - 1B
6. Ian Desmond - SS

There's nothing new here, at all. Johnson might like to throw in a few more left-handed hitters against Cardinals right-hander Kyle Lohse, but he just doesn't have them. Not good ones, anyway. Or maybe Johnson just doesn't care, because Lohse doesn't have wide platoon splits, perhaps because he relies heavily on his sinker and his change-up (although his slider was an effective pitch for him this season).
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