“I told him after the game [in September], competing against him is like Christmas for me,” Wainwright said. “He's one of the best competitors out there, one of the greatest pitchers of our generation for sure. I think he's probably going to be a Hall of Famer, and it's just a privilege to get to compete against him.”
Here’s what to expect in Game 2:
When is the game and how can I watch it?
Game 2 will be today at 4 p.m. ET on TBS.
All games telecast on TBS, FOX and FS1 will be available to MLB.TV subscribers who are authenticated subscribers to the applicable network through a participating pay TV provider.
What are the starting lineups?
Nationals: Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto command the headlines and attention, but the Nationals showed just how deep their lineup can be in Game 1 with contributions from veterans Ryan Zimmerman, Howie Kendrick and Yan Gomes. Victor Robles was not yet ready to return from injury for the starting lineup, which the Nationals announced three hours before first pitch:
Cardinals: The Cardinals managed just one hit -- an eighth-inning, pinch-hit single by Martínez -- in Game 1, but manager Mike Shildt made no changes to the lineup for Game 2. In fairness, it was essentially the same lineup that scored 13 runs in Game 5 of the National League Division Series. Here's the Cardinals' official Game 2 starting lineup:
Who are the starting pitchers?
Nationals: The Cardinals just faced a starter who carried a no-hit bid until there were two outs in the eighth inning and next they must face Scherzer (11-7, 2.92 ERA) in Game 2. Scherzer has given up four runs (on three home runs) in 13 innings for the Nationals this postseason with 16 strikeouts and six walks.
Cardinals: Wainwright (14-10, 4.19 ERA) will get the ball, and he is coming off a great start in Game 2 of the NLDS when he tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings against the Braves. Wainwright outdueled his Game 2 opponent when the Cardinals faced the Nationals in that September Game at Busch Stadium.
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Cardinals: The Cards used many of their better bullpen arms in Game 1, but no reliever threw more than one inning. Andrew Miller was used to strike out Soto swinging in the seventh with two on base, which will continue to be his spot in this series. Ryan Helsley continues to impress -- he took the eighth inning and struck out two Friday night -- and will be leaned on more as well this series.
Are any relievers unavailable?
Any injuries of note?
Nationals: Suzuki cleared concussion protocol on Friday, but Martinez wanted to give him an extra day, so he could be back in the lineup for Game 2. Robles was 80-85 percent before the game, according to Martinez, so he could also return for Game 2.
Who is hot and who is not?
Nationals: First base began as a platoon for the Nationals this month, but Zimmerman has taken hold of the starting nod. After collecting two hits in Game 1, he is batting .368/.400/.632 for the postseason.
Cardinals: No one is riding a hitting streak after a quiet offensive night in Game 1, but prior to that the Cardinals were being led by their three and four hitters, Goldschmidt and Ozuna. Goldschmidt is hitting .360/.407/.760 while Ozuna is remarkably similar at .360/.407/.720.