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Alex Brandon, Associated Press
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter steps out of the dugout for batting practice at Nationals Park, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, in Washington. Carpenter is scheduled to start Game 3 of the National League division series against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday. The best-of-five games series is tied 1-1.

WASHINGTON — The Washington Nationals are carrying on without their acknowledged ace, Stephen Strasburg, and the St. Louis Cardinals are counting on their returning ace, Chris Carpenter.

Strasburg has been shut down for a month. Carpenter has pitched only 17 innings all year because of surgery, and he'll be on the mound Wednesday for Game 3 of the NL division series between the Nationals and Cardinals. The best-of-five series is tied 1-1.

The Nationals counter with Edwin Jackson, their only starter with postseason experience: He was on the Cardinals' 2011 World Series champions.

Carpenter went 4-0 during that run, including winning Game 7 against Texas.

That success, Washington's Ryan Zimmerman says, "isn't going to do anything" for Carpenter on Wednesday.