May 17, 2010, 8:15 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Busch Stadium hosts the Nationals for a quick, two-game series.
ST. LOUIS — If yesterday's game at Coors Field was a "must-win" for the Nationals — one they proceeded to lose, 2-1 — what does that make tonight's game at Busch Stadium? Absolutely-must win?
Whatever you want to call it, this is a big game for the Nats, who for the first time this season come to the ballpark riding a three-game losing streak. Not that a four-game streak and a 20-19 record would be devastating to a club few would have expected to be in this position in mid-May, but it would erase some of the good vibes the Nationals have built over the last couple of weeks.
There's also some added emphasis on winning tonight because the Cardinals will send ace Chris Carpenter to the mound tomorrow. The last thing the Nats want is to have to beat Carpenter to avoid a five-game losing streak. Tonight's starter, Kyle Lohse, is much more beatable (he's 3-13 since last April).
Of course, if this one is close late, Albert Pujols will be looming in the St. Louis lineup. How much would you love to see Pujols step to the plate in a one-run game in the eighth inning, when all of a sudden the bullpen door swings open and Drew Storen comes trotting in to make his big-league debut? (OK, that may be too much to ask for, but it would make for a great story, wouldn't it?)
Check back for updates throughout…
NATIONALS AT CARDINALS
Where: Busch Stadium
Gametime: 8:15 p.m.
Radio: WFED-1500 AM, WWFD-820 AM
Weather: Cloudy, 58 degrees, Wind 11 mph in from LF
RF Willie Harris
2B Cristian Guzman
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Josh Willingham
NL EAST STANDINGS
Through Sunday's games
NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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