Storen and Papelbon bring home the Hold & Save

Drew and Jonathan were nails protecting a 4-3 lead for a much needed Nats win in St. Louis.  Drew faced lefty Cody Stanley who entered the 8th inning as a pinch-hitter.  Stanley worked the count to a 3-2 count and Drew blew him away with an outside fastball.  Drew then had tough lefty Carpenter and righty Piscotty and he got them both for an efficient 1-2-3 inning.

The Nats didn’t score in the top of the 9th so Papelbon took the 1 run lead and had to face the Cardinals 3-4-5 hitters.  Paps got Heyward on an outside pitch to roll a chopper to Escobar that he couldn’t handle, and Heyward would be on 1st with a single with no outs.  Jhonny Peralta flew out to CF then with Moss batting Heyward went to steal 2nd and Moss shot a single through the hole between 1st and 2nd and Heyward kept running and took 3rd base.  With 1 out and men on the corners, Papelbon needed a strikeout or hope for a doubleplay.  Papelbon would freeze Pham on a 2-2 pitch for a strikeout “looking”.  With 2 outs, Papelbon then got the tough lefty Kolten Wong who rolled a slow grounder between 2nd and 1st and Papelbon raced to cover 1st as Rendon fielded the grounder and tossed the ball to Papelbon to get Wong by 1/2 a step.

It was a heart thumper in a series where the Nats led late in each game and the bullpen had late inning blown saves in the 1st two games of the series.  The Nats head home to Washington with a win, and we will have to see how Michael Taylor, Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg are with their injuries.

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