WASHINGTON (AP) Jayson Werth's Washington Nationals were as good as it got during the regular season, compiling a majors-high 98 wins.
That doesn't count for much come the postseason, where the St. Louis Cardinals excel. So what if manager Tony La Russa retired after last year's World Series title? Who cares that slugger Albert Pujols left via free agency? Just like in 2011, the Cardinals are a wild-card club that finds a different player to lead the way each game, it seems.
Heading into Thursday's Game 4 of their best-of-five NL division series, the Cardinals built a 2-1 lead by outscoring the Nationals 22-7.
"It's going to be tough to score if you don't hit," Werth said after St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter and three relievers shut down Washington 8-0 in Game 3 on Wednesday. "But I believe in this team. I believe in these guys. We've been here all year. Over a 162-game season, we were the best team in baseball. I still feel that way."
The Cardinals like their chances, too.