>Cardinals record: 2-1 (5-0-1 series); 17-8 overall

Cardinals 9, Nationals 4
This was a tight game, believe it or not, until the 9th inning.  Tied at 4, the Cardinals “exploded” for 5 runs in the top of the ninth.  By “exploded” I mean – 3 hits (one, with bases loaded, was an infield single!), 2 walks, 1 HBP, and a balk.  Yup, that’s what helped the Cardinals finish the month of April with the best record in baseball.  Lost in it all was an outstanding performance by Mitchell Boggs, who has been filling in for the injured Carpenter.  He struck out a career best 9 in 6 innings of work.
Player of the game goes to Ankiel on this one for a 2-3 night, including a pair of RBI’s one of which broke a tie game in the 9th.  Pujols also deserves some mention for his 8th HR of the season in the 1st inning, which put him at 28 RBI’s on the season
Cardinals 6, Nationals 2
Cards brought out the whoopin’ stick in this one.  All six runs were scored via the long ball tonight.  Pujols, Duncan, Ludwick and Thurston (1st career) all homered for the Cardinals.  Pujols was on base for Duncan’s and Ludwick’s HRs.  Wellemeyer pitched a solid game, going 7 inning and only allowing 2 runs on a HR in the 7th.
Pujols is tonight’s player of the game.  He was merely a triple short of the cycle, scored 3 runs, and knocked in another.  It’s surprising he didn’t get the cycle.  It seems like he has a triple every other night (not really, he has yet to record one this season).
Nationals 6, Cardinals 1
As good as the Cards played yesterday, they stunk it up today.  Pujols was getting a much deserved day off.  His replacement at first, Chris Duncan, gave Cardinal Nation another reason to love their MVP first basemen.  Duncan dropped a relatively easy foul pop-up, and the Nationals took advantage with a two-out single and a big, 3-run blast by Adam Dunn.  Pineiro pitched well, going seven strong innings and only allowing 1 earned run (the 3-run dinger by Dunn counted as 3 unearned runs), but he was outmatched by the Nationals pitcher, Martis, who pitched a complete game and only allowed 5 hits.
It’s important to note that this is the first loss by a Cardinal start whose last name doesn’t rhyme with Bellemeyer.  Cardinal starters are 14-3 on the season.  In fact, Wellemeyer is the only pitcher with multiple losses on the entire team.
An additional side note, why do I say that this was a much-deserved day off for our favorite MVP?  Currently, Pujols leads the NL in HR (tied with Adrian Gonzalez), RBI, runs, and slugging percentage, and ranks 3rd in batting average (.356), 3rd in hits, and 9th in stolen bases (don’t expect that to be maintained!).  Smells like another MVP season to me!
The good thing about only scoring 1 run is that it was pretty easy to discern who the offensive player of the game was.  Rookie Colby Rasmus hit his first major league HR in the 7th inning for his second hit of the day.
Game 4 of the series was postponed due to the rain.  A makeup date has not been announced.
As much fun as a series review has been, I think with the conclusion of this series, I’ll be switching to a weekly format instead.  It’s an evolving process.