Garcia young, but with playoff experience

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Garcia young, but with playoff experience

The Nationals were able to escape Game 1 with the win on Sunday despite one of Adam Wainwrights best starts since returning this season from Tommy John surgery. In Game 2 they will face left-hander Jaime Garcia, a younger pitcher who happens to have more experience in the postseason.

Garcia will be making his sixth career postseason start after starting five different games in the Cardinals 2011 World Series run. But despite being part of their championship team, St. Louis got mixed results from Garcia throughout the playoffs.

In the NLDS last season, Garcia was good in his first career postseason start. He took the ball in Game 3 of a tied series with the Philadelphia Phillies and kept them scoreless into the seventh inning. In the top of the seventh Ben Francisco hit a three-run homer with two outs, it gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead and they ended up winning 3-2.

In the 2011 NLCS, Garcia struggled against the Milwaukee Brewers. In Game 1 the 26-year-old allowed six earned runs in just four innings of work. He took the loss as Milwaukee ended up dropping nine runs in total for a 9-6 win. In Game 2 Garcia was better, he pitched 4 23 innings and allowed one earned run on seven hits. Tony La Russa turned to his bullpen early and the Cardinals kept Milwaukee at one run in a 7-1 win.

Garcias performance in the World Series was also up-and-down. He pitched masterfully in Game 2 by keeping the Texas Rangers scoreless through seven innings. The Cardinals ended up losing in a ninth inning rally after he had left the game. Garcia also started the memorable Game 6 and lasted just three innings after allowing two runs early. The Cardinals were able to come back several times that night to get the win.

Garcias 2012 season started and ended well, and included a near two-month absence due to a shoulder injury. Garcia went 2-1 with a 2.78 ERA in April before struggling in May. He made just one start in June before going on the disabled list.

Garcia returned in August with a rough stretch that included his only matchup this season with the Nationals. On August 30 Garcia lasted 5 13 innings at Nationals Park, but allowed six earned runs in total including two homers. Bryce Harper hit one of them, a two-run shot in the first, and then Jayson Werth added a solo homer in the fifth. The six earned runs allowed tied Garcias season high.

After facing the Nationals Garcia really hit his stride in September. He made six starts in September and went 4-1 with a 2.50 ERA in 36 innings pitched. He lasted at least six innings with three earned runs or less in five of those six outings. Garcias final start of the season was on October 1, he went 6 23 innings with two earned runs allowed at home against Cincinnati.

When the Nationals face Garcia it will be at Busch Stadium where Garcia has pitched his best games. At home this season he went 4-2 with a 2.82 ERA in nine starts. Compare that to his 5.02 ERA in 11 starts on the road and there is a clear difference.

Some of the data suggests Garcia should have an advantage in Mondays game, but the Nationals were able to give him one of his worst outings back in August. If they can get to the lefty early in the game, Garcia could be treated with a short leash as it worked for St. Louis in last years postseason.

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Redskins preseason finale moved to Wednesday due to inclement weather

Redskins preseason finale moved to Wednesday due to inclement weather

The Redskins and Buccaneers are going to wrap up their preseason earlier than the other 30 teams in the NFL, thanks to some inclement weather that's heading toward Tampa Bay.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the matchup between the two NFC squads has been bumped up a day to try and avoid what looks like a lot of precipitation and winds in Florida, courtesy of Tropical Depression Nine

Washington sent out this tweet in response to the news:

"It has become apparent that the most severe weather associated with Tropical Depression Nine will likely make landfall on Thursday," said Buccaneers Chief Operating Officer Brian Ford, according to the Bucs' website. "This decision was made by both teams in conjunction with the National Football League and local authorities in an effort to ensure the safety of our fans, players and stadium staff."

The exhibition finale is slated to start at 8 p.m. Redskins Kickoff will air on CSN at 7 p.m., with Redskins Extra following the matchup. 

Get ready for some Hump Day Football.

RELATED: JOSH DOCTSON APPEARS SET TO RETURN

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Orioles lose first game in crucial series to Toronto

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USA TODAY Sports

Orioles lose first game in crucial series to Toronto

BALTIMORE—The Orioles began this crucial three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays trailing the American League East leaders by three games. 

After Toronto’s 5-1 win over the Orioles before 15,532 at Oriole Park on Monday night, the Blue Jays (75-56) now lead the East by four games. That’s the biggest deficit of the year for the Orioles (71-60). 

School, which had already begun in many parts of Maryland earlier in the month, began in Baltimore on Monday, and a large crowd was not expected, even for a big game. 

The crowd was actually the smallest since the Orioles and Kansas City Royals drew 14,878 on June 6. 

Many of those who were on hand were Blue Jays fans who had much to cheer about. 

Marco Estrada (8-6) allowed just one run on J.J. Hardy’s third inning home run and four hits in seven-plus innings. It was Hardy’s eighth home run of the year. Estrada exited after Hardy led off the eighth with a single. 

“I don’t think it’s just tonight. We’ve had trouble with him for a while. He locates his pitches, kind of right on the top. His fastball is sneaky. He can elevate it. He can pitch down with it, and his changeup is a really tough pitch,” Hardy said. 

Manager Buck Showalter observed just before the All-Star Game how impressed he was with Estrada, who was named to the AL All-Star team, but unable to participate because of back soreness.

“He’s one of those guys, he’s been doing it for two years, really. He’s one of those guys you know what he’s going to do and he’s still able to do it,” Showalter said.

The lead was short lived as Josh Donaldson, the first Blue Jay to reach base after Wade Miley retired the first 10, homered. It was Donaldson’s 34th of the season. 

Troy Tulowitzi singled later in the inning to drive in Edwin Encarnacion for a 2-1 lead. 

Jose Bautista hit his 16th home run to begin the sixth. 

Miley (8-11) had five 1-2-3 innings, and allowed three runs on five hits in the other two innings. 

“Wade was good. Mixed in a lot of different looks and gave us a good chance. A good seventh inning to get one more inning out of him,” Showalter said. “He had a real good chance to win the game. We just didn’t do much against Estrada,” Showalter said. 

Miley, who works more quickly than any other starter in the majors, walked two and struck out nine, six of them called. 

He was helped out in the first inning when Nolan Reimold, playing center field in place of the ailing Adam Jones, ran down Donaldson’s long fly, crashed into the wall and fell, but quickly go up. 

“I felt like I threw the ball a lot better. Had a lot better command of my fastball. Made a couple of mistakes to Donaldson. Both the first at-bat and the second at-bat. I got lucky on the first one. Reimold made a great play out there. The second one, I just didn’t locate the fastball,” Miley said. 

“I think the umpire had a good strike zone. Maybe a little more pitcher friendly. But he was consistent on both sides. He was great. Obviously it’s a great lineup over there. You don’t really get a lot of breaks, just got to make some pitches.” 

Jones has missed three games because of a strained left hamstring, and he’s nearly ready to return. Jonathan Schoop batted leadoff for the first time in his career, and was hitless in four at-bats. 

Joe Biagini relieved Estrada after Hardy’s single, and retired all three batters he faced. 

Toronto added two runs in the ninth off Tommy Hunter, pitching in Baltimore for the first time since July 30, 2015. Justin Smoak’s RBI single and Devon Travis’ infield out scored the runs. 

Joaquin Benoit retired all three batters he faced in the ninth.

Two weeks ago, the Orioles were tied for the AL East lead, but since then they’ve lost nine of 14 and four games in the standings. 

“Obviously these games are important, but we’ve just got to go out there and not put too much pressure on ourselves. They’re big games, but we’re just going to go out there and try to win,” Hardy said. 

“I know everyone in this clubhouse knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but we’re not going to give up. We’re going to go out there every single night trying to win, and that’s what we’ve got to do.” 

NOTES: Neil Berry, believed to be the oldest living Oriole, died last Wednesday at 94. Berry played five games for the first Orioles team in 1954. … J.A. Happ (17-4, 3.19) faces Ubaldo Jimenez (5-11, 6.62) on Tuesday night. 

MORE ORIOLES: ADAM JONES HAS LEARNED TO TAKE CARE OF INJURIES

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Tanner Roark and Jayson Werth lead Nationals past Phillies 4-0

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USA Today Sports

Tanner Roark and Jayson Werth lead Nationals past Phillies 4-0

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Tanner Roark threw seven impressive innings, Jayson Werth hit a solo homer and the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-0 on Monday night.

Roark (14-7) allowed four singles and struck out five. Marc Rzepczynski tossed a perfect eighth and Mark Melancon finished off the four-hitter.

Phillies rookie Jake Thompson (1-4) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings. It was the longest and best of his five career starts.

Werth lined a solo shot to left in the first against his former team. A member of Philadelphia's 2008 World Series championship team, Werth was greeted by boos, as usual.

Bryce Harper raced home from first on Anthony Rendon's single to left-center to make it 2-0 in the first. Clint Robinson and Trea Turner had RBI singles off Frank Herrmann in the ninth.

Thompson settled in nicely after a rough start. His last pitch was a nasty curve that froze Turner for strike three.

Roark didn't need much support. The righty stifled the Phillies again. He's 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA against them this season.

The NL East-leading Nationals snapped a two-game losing streak.

RELATED: NATS MAKE TWO ROSTER MOVES