ST. LOUIS - The Nationals will head back to D.C. needing to win two out of three games at home.
And they'll do all they can to put the memory of this shellacking behind them.
The Cardinals took Game 2 of the National League Division Series by a score of 12-4 today, evening the best-of-five series in what was close to a must-win game for them.
After going down in order in the first inning, the Cards jumped all over Nationals pitching. They knocked Jordan Zimmermann from the game after just three innings of work, hit four home runs, had seven extra-base hits and never took their foot off the gas pedal.
From the second inning on, 20 of the Cardinals' 38 batters to come to the plate reached safely.
Carlos Beltran hit two home runs which traveled a combined 33,000 feet (OK, it was only 880 feet), and Allen Craig and Daniel Descalso added longballs for the Cards.
The Nats tried to climb back into the game in the middle innings. Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche hit back-to-back homers in the fifth, and the Nats put two in scoring position with none out in the seventh. But they couldn't do enough at the plate and couldn't stop the Cardinals' bats, which just kept pounding away on whoever took the mound for Washington.
As ugly as this loss was, the Nats head home having accomplished their goal of getting at least a split in the first two games. If they can hold serve at home, and win two of the three games at Nats Park, they'll move on to the NLCS.