Here’s the math pertinent to the current stranglehold: Road teams which win the first two games of a best-of-seven series have won 88 percent of those series in MLB postseason history. This is where the Nationals stand after two days in St. Louis.

Stephen Strasburg well-rested to start Game 3 on Monday. They are two wins from the World Series.” data-reactid=”14″>Washington holds a 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series by riding an uncomplicated formula. Its starting pitching has been almost untouchable. The offense has been just enough. The Nationals come home with Stephen Strasburg well-rested to start Game 3 on Monday. They are two wins from the World Series.

Max Scherzer took control for seven innings. Sean Doolittle, Patrick Corbin – yes, Corbin – and Daniel Hudson wrapped things up. Adam Eaton‘s two-run double in the eighth provided the cushion in a 3-1 win. What’s going right lately? Everything. ” data-reactid=”15″>Saturday, Max Scherzer took control for seven innings. Sean Doolittle, Patrick Corbin – yes, Corbin – and Daniel Hudson wrapped things up. Adam Eaton‘s two-run double in the eighth provided the cushion in a 3-1 win. What’s going right lately? Everything. 

Yadier Molina slammed his bat after popping out. Matt Carpenter watched a 97-mph inside fastball sizzle past for strike three when Scherzer dragged himself out of a 3-0 count. Left-handed swinging Tommy Edman watched a 97-mph fastball hit the outer edge for a called strike three of his own. That was just in the fifth.” data-reactid=”16″>The familiar alarms from Friday began to wail again Saturday after the fifth inning. Scherzer had not allowed a hit while the Cardinals’ frustration built. Yadier Molina slammed his bat after popping out. Matt Carpenter watched a 97-mph inside fastball sizzle past for strike three when Scherzer dragged himself out of a 3-0 count. Left-handed swinging Tommy Edman watched a 97-mph fastball hit the outer edge for a called strike three of his own. That was just in the fifth.

An astonishing stat followed: In Games 1 and 2 of the 2013 American League Championship Series, Scherzer and Aníbal Sánchez held the Red Sox hitless through the first five innings in each start. They were the only pitchers in MLB postseason history to hold the same team hitless through five innings in consecutive games. Six years later, they had done it again.

Michael A. Taylor‘s solo home run provided the Nationals a 1-0 cushion against Adam Wainwright, who wasn’t far from matching Scherzer. Wainwright allowed just four hits in his first six innings: three singles and the home run. He walked no one and struck out nine. The curveball was his pitch of choice. Wainwright threw 34 among his first 77 pitches. Nineteen were strikes. Washington put just two in play.” data-reactid=”18″>And, like Sánchez, Scherzer was working with the most modest of leads. Michael A. Taylor‘s solo home run provided the Nationals a 1-0 cushion against Adam Wainwright, who wasn’t far from matching Scherzer. Wainwright allowed just four hits in his first six innings: three singles and the home run. He walked no one and struck out nine. The curveball was his pitch of choice. Wainwright threw 34 among his first 77 pitches. Nineteen were strikes. Washington put just two in play.

Kolten Wong led to a tapper easily handled by Anthony Rendon. Scherzer walked off the mound 92 pitches into his outing. He had not allowed a hit. A challenging decision for Davey Martinez was coming around the bend.” data-reactid=”19″>Which made any St. Louis baserunner a danger. Dexter Fowler walked with two outs in the sixth to produce the Cardinals’ first baserunner since the first inning. But a check swing from Kolten Wong led to a tapper easily handled by Anthony Rendon. Scherzer walked off the mound 92 pitches into his outing. He had not allowed a hit. A challenging decision for Davey Martinez was coming around the bend.

Paul Goldschmidt made the decision-making easier. His leadoff single in the seventh snapped Scherzer’s push for history. Only two pitchers – Don Larsen and Roy Halladay – had thrown no-hitters in the postseason. Marcell Ozuna struck out. Molina grounded into a double play. Scherzer’s spot was due up second in the eighth. Matt Adams replaced him after 101 pitches, seven innings, one hit, no runs, two walks and 11 strikeouts. Scherzer has allowed one earned run in his last 15 postseason innings. His career postseason ERA is down to 3.35.

Eaton’s eighth-inning double down the first-base line scored two runs when Wainwright’s curveball finally lost a battle. St. Louis manager Mike Shildt left Wainwright in the game to face Eaton 92 pitches into his efficient outing. Andrew Miller was ready. This decision will be the focal point in St. Louis. Miller came in after an intentional walk to Anthony Rendon. Juan Soto popped out, Howie Kendrick struck out. Inning over and question in: Why didn’t Miller enter to face Eaton then handle the two behind Rendon?” data-reactid=”21″>Keeping to Friday’s script, the Nationals added runs late to calm nerves and swell the lead. Eaton’s eighth-inning double down the first-base line scored two runs when Wainwright’s curveball finally lost a battle. St. Louis manager Mike Shildt left Wainwright in the game to face Eaton 92 pitches into his efficient outing. Andrew Miller was ready. This decision will be the focal point in St. Louis. Miller came in after an intentional walk to Anthony Rendon. Juan Soto popped out, Howie Kendrick struck out. Inning over and question in: Why didn’t Miller enter to face Eaton then handle the two behind Rendon?

Finally, a run emerged for for St. Louis in the eighth. Jose Martinez’s protracted at-bat against Sean Doolittle resulted in a crisp fly ball to the heart of center field. Taylor misread it. The ball clicked off his glove at the top of his leap then rolled to the wall. Paul DeJong, who had singled, scored the Cardinals’ first run of the series. Fowler’s pop out closed the inning. Hudson prepped to close the game. Then, Corbin began to throw in the Nationals’ bullpen.

who became a dad for the third time after the Friday birth of another daughter – into the game. He retired Goldschmidt and Ozuna. Game over. Grip tightened.” data-reactid=”23″>Corbin entered to face the left-handed Wong. Two pitches later, Wong was out and so was Corbin. Dave Martinez hopped out of the dugout to bring Hudson – who became a dad for the third time after the Friday birth of another daughter – into the game. He retired Goldschmidt and Ozuna. Game over. Grip tightened.

Nationals take commanding 2-0 NLCS lead thanks to another dominant Max Scherzer performance originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington” data-reactid=”29″>Nationals take commanding 2-0 NLCS lead thanks to another dominant Max Scherzer performance originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington



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