Get away day.
The same rules apply to the Cardinals as apply to every other team in a playoff situation- it’s a very bad thing to find yourself facing elimination (Sun-Tzu notwithstanding). Like the Giants last night they really need a win at home.
Thus, the rally squirrel.
Now there are encouraging signs for the Cards. They only lost by a late game (8th inning) 2 out pinch hit 2 run single and there is no doubt that Gonzales showed considerable frustration early, but age and guile only go so far and by the end the Nationals were looking considerably more “playoff experienced” than they did going in.
Also on the positive side they’ll be facing Jordan Zimmermann. Don’t let his impressive record (12 – 8, 2.94 ERA) fool you, he’s 0 – 2 lifetime against the Cardinals with a stunning 9.12 ERA.
He’ll be facing Jaime Garcia (7-7, 3.92 ERA) who wasn’t all that impressive in last year’s playoffs, but most of the damage came on the road, he’s much better at Busch Stadium.
And Zimmerman is good on the road, so we shall see shortly how much trouble the Cardinals are in.