Nationals vs. Cardinals: Team Grades from NLDS Game 3

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Nationals vs. Cardinals: Team Grades from NLDS Game 3
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Shortstop Pete Kozma's three-run homer in the top of the first inning set the tone early for the St. Louis Cardinals.

With the NLDS between the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals tied at one game apiece heading back to Washington, Game 3 promised to be a pivotal matchup.

Chris Carpenter and Edwin Jackson, teammates on last year's championship team, were on opposite sides of the field in this one.

For Carpenter, pitching in a pivotal game has become old-hat. He did that no less than three times last season alone.

For Jackson, beating his old mates is just part of the equation. He's hoping that a solid postseason can pay off in a long-term contract, not to mention the opportunity to earn a World Series ring with two teams in two years.

Unfortunately for Jackson, he was fooling no one through his first two innings, with the big blow coming from shortstop Pete Kozma—a three-run blast to give the Cardinals an early 4-0 lead.

Kozma's blast was all the offense the Cardinals needed, as Carpenter and three relievers combined for a seven-hit shutout to give the Cardinals a commanding 2-1 series lead.

Here are grades for each team's starting lineups, starting pitchers, bullpen and bench.

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