Washington at St. Louis: Lineups, Pitching Rotation and Full NLDS Schedule

Darin PikeContributor IOctober 5, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 03:  Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals celebrates with Michael Morse #38 after hitting a home run in the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on October 3, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals secured the top seed in the National League on the last day of the regular season. Their prize was home-field advantage and an extra day of rest as they awaited the winner of the St. Louis Cardinals vs. the Atlanta Braves.

The controversial ending of the Wild Card game means the Nationals will fly to Missouri for the first two games of their National League Divisional Series (NLDS).

#Cardinals eliminate the #Braves, 6-3. #Nats will travel to St. Louis for Game 1 of the NLDS on Sunday

— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) October 6, 2012

Bleacher Report is offering a look at each team's starting lineup, their projected rotation on the mound and when the opening pitch is scheduled for each game.

Get ready to hunker down with your television and computer as B/R will be providing live updates and analysis throughout the playoffs and the World Series.


Sun. 10/7: Washington at St. Louis, 3:07 p.m. ET

Mon. 10/8: Washington at St. Louis, 4:37 p.m.

Wed. 10/10: St. Louis at Washington, TBD

Thurs. 10/11: St. Louis at Washington, TBD*

Fri. 10/12: St. Louis at Washington, TBD*

*if necessary

Starting Lineups








Jayson Werth




Jon Jay



Bryce Harper




Carlos Beltran



Ryan Zimmerman




Matt Holliday



Adam LaRoche




Allen Craig



Michael Morse




Yadier Molina



Ian Desmond




David Freese



Danny Espinosa




Daniel Descalso



Jesus Flores




Pete Kozma



The Cardinals have the National League’s best hitting lineup in the playoffs. They don’t have the power of the Nationals (159 home runs vs. 194), but their team average of .271 is 10 points better than the Nationals.

It should be a great matchup of the St. Louis bats vs. the Nationals’ rotation.

Starting Rotations




Gio Gonzalez (21-8, 2.89)


Adam Wainwright (14-13, 3.94)

Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 2.94)


Jaime Garcia (7-7, 3.92)

Edwin Jackson (10-11, 4.03)


Chris Carpenter (0-2, 3.71)

Ross Detwiler (10-8, 3.40)


Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.86)

Nationals’ coach Davey Johnson has been hesitant to release his rotation, as it will be determined based on the team they face in the NLDS. His ace, Gio Gonzalez, is a southpaw. The Cardinals had a 30-17 record against lefties, while the Atlanta Braves posted a 30-30 mark.

Despite the success the Cardinals had against lefties, Gonzalez will be the starter on Sunday followed by Zimmerman.

The new playoff schedule made it more difficult for Johnson to set up his postseason rotation over the final week of play. The uncertainty on which day Washington would start the playoffs, along with the team they’d face, seems like a minor hurdle for one of the best rotations in baseball, though.

Johnson hasn't released his starters following Game 2.

According to a report by Bill Ladson of MLB.com, Johnson stated on Wednesday that John Lannan was also a candidate for the rotation. Lannan filled in for Stephen Strasburg late in the season and the lefty likely would have been used if they were facing the Braves.

Life is a bit tougher for the Cardinals' rotation.

They had to use Lohse to secure a playoff series, making him unavailable until Wednesday. That would give him four days of rest, but at this point Matheny is planning to use Carpenter in Game 3 and save Lohse for Game 4.

I'd expect that plan to change if the Nationals manage to win the first two games.


As fun as it would be to see the offense win out in this contest, the Nationals have too many pitchers that can control this series. They can likely depend on Gonzalez grabbing two wins if the Series lasts long enough. With Zimmerman likely pitching Game 2 and Detwiler and Jackson on deck, life will be difficult for St. Louis.

My heart may say Cardinals in five, but my head says the Nationals will win the series in four games.

Life might be different if Lohse was available for two games.