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Nationals reliever Craig Stammen now has an 11.57 ERA in the NLDS.
The Washington Nationals bullpen was looking to rebound from a poor showing in Game 2. After Jackson allowed four runs in five innings, manager Davey Johnson called on reliever Craig Stammen to start the sixth.
Stammen was completely ineffective in Game 2, walking two and giving up a solo home run to Daniel Descalso before exiting after recording just one out.
He didn't start out in Game 3 on a winning note either, hitting catcher Yadier Molina to start the sixth. After giving up a double to David Freese, Stammen was victimized once again by Descalso, who hit a sacrifice fly to Jayson Werth to plate the Cardinals' fifth run. Stammen limited the damage by striking out Pete Kozma and Chris Carpenter.
Christian Garcia replaced Stammen to start the seventh. Much like Stammen the prior inning, Garcia got into trouble right away, giving up consecutive singles to John Jay and Carlos Beltran. Garcia got Matt Holliday on a ground-out, moving runners to second and third. Garcia then intentionally walked Allen Craig to load the bases with just one out.
That plan backfired, as Garcia walked Yadier Molina to force in the Cardinals' sixth run of the game.
Garcia struck out Freese and Descalso to end the inning. But another run given up by the bullpen makes the Nationals' uphill climb even more challenging.
Johnson again went to his bullpen to start the eighth, bringing on Ryan Mattheus to replace Garcia. After recording two quick outs, Mattheus too found trouble, giving up a single to Jay and a ground-rule double to Beltran, putting runners on second and third with two outs.
The rout was then on, as Mattheus gave up a single to Holliday, scoring both Jay and Beltran and giving the Cardinals an 8-0 lead. Craig then worked a terrific 11-pitch at-bat, fouling off four pitches before drawing a walk.
Matteus retired Molina to end the inning, but not before allowing two runs on three hits with a walk.
Drew Storen came on in the night, essentially in a mop-up role at this point.
Maybe Johnson should have gone to Storen first on this day—he turned in the only scoreless inning by a Nationals reliever.
Grade: D-. The bullpen again struggled mightily, giving up four runs in four innings. Storen was the only effective one of the bunch, and the game was already out of reach by then.