FINAL: Zimmerman pops up. After being so close to winning, the Nationals fold in the ninth. The Cardinals are headed to the NLCS.
12:27 P.M.: Two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Zimmerman is the Nats last hope.
12:20 P.M.: Motte strikes out against Storen one batter too late. Onto the bottom of the ninth. Let’s hope the Nationals still have some walk-off magic left.
12:17 P.M.: Pete Kozma hits a 2-run single. The Cards are now up 9-7.
12:15 P.M.: Sharp grounder off the glove of Desmond. Two runs score, the game is tied now. Looks like the Nationals are going to have to walk-off to win this one.
12:14 P.M.: Storen walks Freese, loading the bases. Two outs still with Descalso at-bat.
12:09 P.M.: Storen walks Molina with two outs. David Freese coming to the plate. Nats just need one out to advance.
12:06 P.M.: Craig strikes out. One more out for the Nationals to get the win!
12:05 P.M.: One out, with Beltran on third after a double and moving up on a ground out. Two big outs to go.
12:01 P.M.: Hold on for this: it’s the top of the ninth. Drew Storen is in to close it out. Fair to say it’s the toughest three outs he’ll need so far in his career.
11:56 P.M.: Suzuki’s base hit singles home Adam La Roche. The Nationals are up 7-5 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Chad Tracy is pinch hitting for Clippard. How big of a pickup has Suzuki been?! That’s his third hit of the night.
11:42 P.M.: After the lead off home run Clippard retires the Cardinals without further damage. The Nationals have three outs to go, now leading 6-5. Some insurance runs for the Nats wouldn’t hurt…
11:34 P.M.: Daniel Descalso hits a solo lead off home run off of Tyler Clippard in the top of the eighth. Nationals lead is down to one run. Strong performances from Clippard and Storen especially important now.
11:30 P.M.: Werth, Harper, and Zimmerman are retired in order. Onto the eighth inning. Tyler Clippard is coming in. 6 outs away from winning. Clippard and Storen need to come through with some classic Clipp ‘n Save shutdown pitching tonight.
11:17 P.M.: Edwin Jackson made it a little too interesting there. Strikes out Freese for the third out on a slider but gives up one run. Onto the seventh inning stretch with the Nats still up 6-4. They need some insurance runs to keep things from getting too interesting and to keep their fans alive.
11:10 P.M.: Holliday grounds out and Jon Jay scores. Nationals lead 6-4 now. One out in the top of the seventh. Jackson doesn’t seem to have the best of command.
11:08 P.M.: Edwin Jackson walks Jon Jay & gives up a rocket double to Carlos Beltran. Cardinals have runners on second and third with no outs. Jackson needs some clutch pitches here.
11:04 P.M.: The Nationals failed to score in the bottom of the sixth. Edwin Jackson is now in to pitch in the top of the seventh now. Hopefully his performance is significantly better than it was Wednesdays. He has a 5.70 ERA as a reliever.
10:49 P.M.: Sean Burnett finishes the sixth and the Nationals escape the inning after giving the Cardinals an extra out. Off to the bottom of the sixth still leading 6-3. Nine more outs necessary to win.
10:45 P.M.: A bobble by Espinosa costs the Nationals a double play. (No error attributed since you can’t assume the double play.) Stammen is now out of the game for left-hander Sean Burnett. Top of the sixth inning with two outs.
10:40 P.M.: It’s now the top of the sixth; Gio Gonzalez is out of the game after a shaky fifth inning for Craig Stammen. The Nationals lead the Cardinals 6-3.
9:55 P.M.: Right now it’s the top of the fourth and the Nationals are up 6-1 on the Cardinals. They’ve already knocked out starter Adam Wainwright. Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper, and Michael Morse have all gone yard among other extra base hits for the lineup.
Check out the Washington Post’s live blog of the game as well. This one will also be updated throughout the game.