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Game 5 was the highlight of 2012 for St. Louis.
Game 5 of the NLDS was supposed to be the Washington Nationals' christening as a rising power in the National League.
After winning the NL East in dominant fashion, the Nats were one win away from sending the defending World Series champion Cardinals home for the winter and sending the D.C. area home in a state of delirious joy.
They put up six runs on Cardinals' starter Adam Wainwright, knocking him out in the third inning. Bryce Harper, who had been pretty quiet the entire series, made his presence felt with a bomb into the center field bleachers.
But Cardinal pitchers Joe Kelly, Trevor Rosenthal, Edward Mujica and Mitchell Boggs pitched 4.2 innings of scoreless relief to settle the Cards down as they chipped back against Cy Young favorite Gio Gonzalez.
The Nationals scored a run in the bottom of the eighth off Cards' closer Jason Motte to make it a 7-5 game and that seemed to stop the bleeding for Washington. Perhaps they'd finish off those pesky Redbirds after all.
Thankfully, the Cards threw tough at-bat after tough at-bat at the Nationals in the ninth, getting down to their final strike more than once and eventually exploding for four runs to stun the home crowd 9-7 and remind Cardinals fans why we love this team so much.