Oct 8, 2012, 2:43 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Ryan Mattheus’ seventh-inning escape act saved the day for the Nationals.
ST. LOUIS — Twenty-one of the 25 players on their roster had never experienced this before. Neither had approximately 99 percent of their fan base back home in Washington.
Jayson Werth, though, had been here. He’s been through the meat grinder of the postseason, and he knows what kind of toll it can take on teams and players who are entering uncharted territory.
“A lot of times you see teams in their first games, the first time they’re there, and they crack or buckle,” the veteran right fielder said. “I feel like we definitely gave a little bit, but we didn’t break.”
Oh, the Nationals gave plenty to the Cardinals Sunday afternoon in Game 1 of the National League Division Series. If not for the giant scoreboard in center field at Busch Stadium, a casual observer might well have thought they were trailing by a touchdown in the top of the eighth inning, not by a single run.
This, though, is what postseason baseball is all about. It’s a roller-coaster of emotions. One minute you’re sky-high, the next you’re cursing yourself after a squandered opportunity.
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