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NLCS Game 3 open thread

The Cardinals should try winning a game or else this series is going to be boring on top of having an unacceptable outcome.

Divisional Series - St Louis Cardinals v Atlanta Braves - Game Five
No relation to Ryan, that I know of.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

If there is going to be anything resembling excitement in the National League Championship Series, the Cardinals offense might try showing up in the District of Columbia for Game 3 tonight.

It’s not a huge surprise that the team’s scoring output has suddenly evaporated at this stage. They were not a quality offense in the regular season, with a team OPS of .737 which was just 11th of 15 NL teams. That doesn’t get you a division title without great pitching, which the Cardinals did have, with a 3.80 ERA that was second-best in the NL.

And so here they are in a 2-0 hole against the Nationals. Regrettable for the Cardinals that they piled up one of their crummy games against Anibal Sanchez, hardly the most fearsome of the Nationals rotation. Now as they try to avoid a loss that would put them on the brink of an ignominious sweep, they have to face Stephen Strasburg, who as you’ve probably heard is pretty good.

That’s a bad situation for them to be in. Although I would certainly prefer the Cardinals dig themselves out of this hole, I will spare no pity for them if they prove incapable of the task. The franchise won a World Series this decade. If this year’s edition of the team withers, who cares? Not me.

Anyway, first pitch is scheduled for 7:38 on TBS. Here are the starting lineups:


  1. Dexter Fowler - CF
  2. Kolten Wong - 2B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
  4. Marcell Ozuna - LF
  5. Yadier Molina - C
  6. Jose Martinez - RF
  7. Tommy Edman - 3B
  8. Paul DeJong - SS
  9. Jack Flaherty - RHP

Cardinals manager Mike Shildt received a whole lot of in-the-moment criticism for going through with having Flaherty pitch in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Braves even after that game immediately became a blowout. With the offense not showing up in the NLCS, the decision probably won’t end up mattering that much, and Flaherty could get torched tonight and the whole discussion would be moot as well.


  1. Trea Turner - SS
  2. Adam Eaton - RF
  3. Anthony Rendon - 3B
  4. Juan Soto - LF
  5. Howie Kendrick - 2B
  6. Ryan Zimmerman - 1B
  7. Kurt Suzuki - C
  8. Victor Robles - CF
  9. Stephen Strasburg - RHP

The home team Nationals are, according to ESPN, -135 favorites (bet $135 to win back your bet plus $100) and the over/under for total runs in this game is 7.