After falling behind by a run in the top of the eighth inning, the Cardinals mounted a modest threat in the bottom of the inning but came away with nothing.
With closer Tyler Clippard taking over on the mound -- what's this? in the eighth inning? -- David Freese led off with a grounder to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Perfectly routine play, but Zimmerman bounced the throw and Adam LaRoche couldn't come up with it. Mike Matheny ordered the sacrifice bunt, and Daniel Descalso executed. But Clippard got Pete Kozma to pop out, and then he struck out pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter to end the inning.
The Nationals are ahead 3-2 after eight innings, and in the bottom of the ninth ... what? Will Davey Johnson ask Clippard to get more than three outs for the first time in 2012?