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Nats Game Day – NLDS Game 4 vs. Cardinals

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Photo - St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Trevor Rosenthal, right, beats Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper to first base for an out in the seventh inning of Game 3 of the National League division baseball series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Trevor Rosenthal, right, beats Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper to first base for an out in the seventh inning of Game 3 of the National League division baseball series on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Beanballs,Sports,Brian McNally

Cardinals at Nationals

Game » NLDS Game 4

Series » St. Louis leads 2-1

Starters » Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.86 ERA) vs. Ross Detwiler (10-8, 3.40 ERA)

When » Thursday, 4:07 p.m.

Where » National Park, Washington, D.C.

TV » TBS

Radio » 106.7 The Fan FM, WFED 1500, WHFS 1580

The season now hinges on the left arm of Ross Detwiler. Down 2-1 in this best-of-five National League Division Series, the Nats turn to the player who really began their rebuilding process way back in 2007. Detwiler was the No. 6 overall pick that season, but it took until this year for him to finally establish himself as a full member of the rotation out of spring training. And even then he was quickly replaced by Chien-Ming Wang. Detwiler went to the bullpen in late May, but was back in the rotation a month later after Wang suffered from injury and poor performance.

“It’s going to be my first [playoff start],” Detwiler said. “It’s earlier in the day, that way I don’t have all day to think about it.  So it’s just kind of wake up and see how I feel [Thursday], and just really during the game try to slow myself down as much as I can.”

He put together a fine season with a 10-8 record and a 3.40 ERA. But when Detwiler had a chance to secure the NL East title on a Sunday afternoon in St. Louis on Sept. 30 he was battered for seven runs, three earned, in just 2 1/3 innings. It wasn’t exactly the performance he wanted in a big game against his hometown club. Thursday he gets another chance against the Cardinals. If it doesn’t work out, according to Washington manager Davey Johnson, then Jordan Zimmermann is available to pitch today. But Detwiler’s teammates have confidence he won’t be needed.

“Ross has been dominant all year. Tough lefty throwing hard from the left side. He’s been a dominant force for us,” Jayson Werth said. “I like our pitching the way it’s set up the rest of the way. I imagine we got Jordan in the bullpen [Thursday], too. But all in all we’ve done a great job all year. We’ve been a great team. We’ve played great baseball. We got a chance to prove that again.”

Meanwhile, Detwiler will be opposed by St. Louis ace Kyle Lohse. Lohse spent much of the year on the fringe of the Cy Young race after a wonderful season. But on Sept. 1 in Washington he gave up eight runs, five of them earned, in 5 2/3 innings. The Cardinals eventually won that game anyway. But Lohse has never had much success at Nationals Park. He is 1-1 in four starts here with a 7.48 ERA in 21 2/3 innings.  On Sept. 29 Lohse gave up four runs to the Nats in six innings.

“I’m not going to handle it differently either way.  I’m going out there with the mind‑set that I’ve got this really good lineup that I’ve got to go out there and do my best to shut down, regardless of whether it’s to prolong the season,” Lohse said. “Either way, the way I look at it, it’s to prolong our season, whether we are up 2‑1 or down 1‑2.”

The lineups for both clubs remains the same:

Nats

RF – Jayson Werth

CF – Bryce Harper (L)

3B – Ryan Zimmerman

1B – Adam LaRoche (L)

LF – Michael Morse

SS – Ian Desmond

2B – Danny Espinosa (S)

C – Kurt Suzuki

LHP – Ross Detwiler

 

Cardinals

CF – Jon Jay (L)

RF – Carlos Beltran (S)

LF – Matt Holliday

1B – Allen Craig

C – Yadier Molina

3B – David Freese

2B – Daniel Descalso (L)

SS – Peter Kozma

RHP – Kyle Lohse

Follow me on Twitter @bmcnally14

 

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