Now Commenting On:

Cards' bats unable to break through in nail-biter

Cards' bats unable to break through in nail-biter

Cards' bats unable to break through in nail-biter
WASHINGTON -- After the Nationals' 2-1 win on Thursday, the National League Division Series is tied at two games apiece. The Cardinals' series record in lopsided vs. close games also is even.

As was the case in the regular season, the Cards have thrived in one-sided ballgames but struggled in close ones. They were 21-26 in one-run regular-season games this year, and now have lost both in this series. They were 31-17 in games decided by five or more runs, and have won two such ballgames against the Nats during these playoffs.

But Thursday may have been more about the difficulty of scratching a run across against the Nationals than any other trend. St. Louis' only run was unearned and came in the third inning when Pete Kozma walked, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and an error, then scored on a sacrifice fly.

Wild Card vs. Nationals

"This was a really competitive game," said first baseman Allen Craig, who registered two of the Cardinals' three hits Thursday. "It wasn't a game where each team had a bunch of hits and had a bunch of baserunners. We played pretty good defense and the pitching was good. We just couldn't break through. It was a great competitive game. Unfortunately we lost, but we'll come back tomorrow and get it done."

Ross Detwiler was fantastic for Washington (six innings, three hits, three walks, two strikeouts), and the bullpen corps of Jordan Zimmermann (three strikeouts in his first career relief appearance), Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen (each with a shutout inning and combining for five strikeouts) was more than formidable.

"The job they did -- they rose to the occasion," Nats manager Davey Johnson said. "All of them were throwing harder than I've seen them throw."

In their two losses this series, the Cards have been outscored 5-3. In their two victories, they've outscored the Nationals 20-4.

"We just didn't capitalize on opportunities," center fielder Jon Jay said Thursday. "That's what we've done in games we've won, and that's what we have to do tomorrow."

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español