Oct 8, 2012, 5:52 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jordan Zimmermann faces Jaime Garcia in Game 2 today at Busch Stadium.
ST. LOUIS — How important was it for the Nationals to win Game 1 of this best-of-five series, especially on the road? "That game's huge," Adam LaRoche said this morning. "Game 1 in a short series like this is huge. I think more than anything because now for the Cardinals, since we won Game 1, this is kind of a must-win. You don't want to get down two games in any series, but definitely not in a five-game."
So the pressure today at Busch Stadium is squarely on the defending World Series champs, not the first-time playoff participants. Which means the pressure is on Game 2 starter Jamie Garcia to get his team back on track. The left-hander had an up-and-down season but he finished strong, going 4-1 with a 2.50 ERA over his last six starts (after the Nats got him for six runs in late-August).
Jordan Zimmermann makes his first career postseason start, and if you think the right-hander is fazed at all by the situation, you don't know him very well. "I really never get nervous for any games," he said yesterday. "The only game I really got nervous for was my debut [in 2009]. And I don't see anything changing this time."
We've got another afternoon start here in St. Louis, so look for the Shadow Monster to be a factor again. And for everyone who keeps asking: No, MLB has not yet announced a start time for Game 3 on Wednesday. As soon as they do, I will pass it along. I promise.
In the meantime, plenty of updates from today's game to come right here…
NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES – GAME 2
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Where: Busch Stadium
Gametime: 4:37 p.m. EDT
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), WSPZ (570 AM), XM 184
Weather: Sunny, 60 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to RF
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 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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