Nationals knock out Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson with huge first-inning rally

Stephen Strasburg

Enlarge Image Stephen Strasburg Getty Images

The Washington DC crowd were in raptures as their team beat the St Louis Cardinals 7-4 in game four of the National League Championship Series, winning it 4-0 to book a date with either the New York Yankees or Houston Astros.

Hudson was charged with seven runs.

From 19-31 during a mediocre May to the Fall Classic in an outstanding October. The Nationals plated seven runs in the first inning of NLCS Game 4, sending the Cardinals right-hander packing after just eight batters. The Saint Louis Cardinals come into this matchup with a 0-3 record in this series, and they will be looking to rebound after dropping game 3 against the Washington Nationals, 8-1.

It all starts with the pitching.

Flaherty has thrown almost as many pitches in his two playoff starts (221) as Strasburg threw over 15 innings between his two NLDS starts and Wild Card game relief appearance (225). Then second-year manager Dave Martinez - who so many folks thought might be fired back in May - turned to his NL-worst bullpen, such a problem for so much of this season.

Carpenter, a career.481 batter with the bases full, grounded out to second baseman Brian Dozier, a defensive replacement who briefly lost the ball before gathering it and throwing to first to end that inning.

They will look to get back on track behind their best pitcher, Jack Flaherty; but he will have to defeat or at least match Stephen Strasburg - the most well-compensated player in the sport ($35 million) and a pitcher who has been lights out in the postseason (1.34 ERA over 32 IP). His homer was the only Washington run that did not come with two outs. The lone baseball championship for the city was in 1924, when the Senators defeated the Giants. There wasn't even a baseball team at all in Washington for more than three decades until the Montreal Expos franchise moved to town before the 2005 season and was renamed the Nationals. He last played in Game 2 of the NLDS against Los Angeles. Then came this lopsided dismissal of the Cardinals, who were outscored 20-6 in the series. He did not allow more than three runs over his final 16 regular-season starts and his first two postseason starts. Stephen Strasburg received the starting nod for the Washington Nationals, and he had success as he went 7 scoreless innings while striking out 12 batters. Rookie right-hander Dakota Hudson will be on the mound for the Cardinals. The Cardinals have scored two runs total through the first three games in the series.

Latest News