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Big League Stew

NLDS Game 1: Tyler Moore delivers in the clutch, helps Nationals take down Cardinals

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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Ian Desmond and Michael Morse celebrate Tyler Moore's big hit. (AP)

Score and situation: The Washington Nationals stole Game 1 from the defending World Champion St. Louis Cardinals with a dramatic 3-2 win at Busch Stadium.

Leading lads: Pinch-hitter Tyler Moore came through with a two-run single off Marc Rzepczynski in the eighth, which proved to be the game-winner for the Nationals. Their bullpen was also instrumental in the victory as Ryan Mattheus escaped a bases loaded, nobody out jam in the seventh on just two pitches. The second resulted in an around-the-horn double play off the bat of Yadier Molina.

Head hangers: It was a rough afternoon for the middle of the Cardinals order. Matt Holliday, Allen Craig and Yadier Molina combined to go 0 for 11 with one run scored and two walks. Shortstop Pete Kozma committed a critical error starting the eighth which opened the door for Washington. Kozma also popped out with the tying run in scoring position in the bottom half.

Key play: You could flip a coin between Mattheus' great escape in the seventh and Moore's pinch-hit one half inning later. But the latter may not have been possible without the error from Pete Komza that opened the difference-making half inning.

Interesting stat: Adam Wainwright became the first pitcher ever to strike out 10 or more batters in a posteason start that last less than six innings.

What they'll be talking about: Both teams relied on the sacrifice bunt excessively in Game 1. The Nationals finally found success with it in the eighth as it helped set up Moore's big hit. However, in the bottom half, it didn't work out for St. Louis as pinch-runner Adron Chambers was stranded at second base after Daniel Descalso gave himself up as the first out. Perhaps a little too much small ball caught up to Mike Matheny.

What's next: Game 2 of the series comes your way Monday afternoon at 4:30 ET from Busch Stadium. The Nationals will look to take a commanding 2-0 in the series with Jordan Zimmerman on the mound. Left-hander Jamie Garcia gets the nod for Mike Matheny's Cardinals.

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