Cardinals 1, Nationals 8 (Game 3, NLCS) – Prof: Washington has a commanding lead over St. Louis. The next game will be the most important game in Curly Dubs history – if they win, they win the National League crown and fight for the honor of being World Champion. Let’s talk about last night’s performance.
For all of the hype over Strasburg vs Flaherty, it really wasn’t as advertised. Stephen Strasburg simply outmaneuvered the competition and had a lights out night. For as often as I have complained about Stras being “made of candy floss and blown glass”, he has found the strength of ten thousand Grinches plus two here in the postseason. Seven innings, twelve strikeouts. The only Redbird run of the night came on a Juan Soto throwing error on a routine single, but Stras roared back with back to back Ks to end the inning and finish up his impressive night.
Strasburg now has joined some rarified air in postseason pitching. Look at these insane numbers:
Strasburg’s postseason ERA is currently 1.10 (minimum of six starts). Only Sandy Koufax and Christy Mathewson had lower – Koufax with a blistering 0.95 and Mathewson with 1.06. Also, in their first seven postseason starts, the following pitchers have 10+ strikeouts in at least four of those games – Bob Gibson, Cliff Lee, Stras. That’s it. That’s the list. Those are some legendary names on these lists, and Strasburg is absolutely making his way.
But it wasn’t all about remarkable pitching. Howie Kendrick continues to be your offensive MVP, 3-4 with three RBI. The Nationals second baseman is hitting .417 this postseason. Not to be outdone, Ryan Zimmerman had two RBI as well. This forever National has somehow found the Fountain of Youth in the postseason; it’s just my opinion, but I think he realizes that his career window is closing fast, and this is the best and probably only real chance of getting that elusive World Series championship. The guy has been in Washington for roughly five hundred years. It’s time.
Tomorrow we have game three of the ALCS and the NLCS one for all the marbles. I live about 30 miles from Nats Park, so if they end up winning, this whole area is going to explode in a type of euphoria that I haven’t experienced since the Packers went to the Super Bowl and the entire state of Wisconsin was on high alert.