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NLDS Game 2: Nats at Cardinals

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
TV: TBS
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), WSPZ (570 AM), XM 184
Weather: Sunny, 60 degrees, Wind 10 mph out to RF

NATIONALS
RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche

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