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Gone in a flash

Oct 13, 2012, 4:34 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
Drew Storen sits motionless at his locker after taking the loss in Game 5.

Updated at 4:45 a.m.

The remnants of a celebration that was supposed to happen lingered throughout a surreal clubhouse scene, plastic tarps either torn down in haste or left to hang from the ceiling, a temporary carpet covering the majority of the room so the regular flooring wouldn't get ruined amid the jubilee.

Somewhere out of public view, cases of champagne and beer bottles had been stashed away, removed from the premises before the participants could see them. A TV crew that had been in place and ready to broadcast the pandemonium raced to clear out of the room and hustle down the hallway to the visitors clubhouse, where the actual celebration would occur.

All that remained inside the Nationals' oval-shaped office was silence, punctuated by the occasional slap of players and coaches hugging each other and saying their goodbyes for the winter.

Baseball "is designed to break your heart," former commissioner Bart Giamatti once wrote, but the Nationals' 9-7 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the National League Division Series was less about heartbreak and more about heartburn, the sting of a never-been-seen turn of events too fresh in everyone's minds to allow forRead more ยป

210 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Taino in DC - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    In other news ,Chien-Ming Wang sign a 2 year contract , will start rehab , and expect to be ready in May . :)

  2. natsfan1a - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    And there's a new post up.

  3. natsfan1a - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Don't toy with us, Taino. ;-)

  4. fast eddie - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Manassas:"Will they re-sign Laroche?"When you read the players' comments, they consider him a real leader and invaluable contributor. His performance will command a long-term contract, however, and he is blocking TyMo at 1B.I could go either way.

  5. Unknown - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Mark- Thanks for all the insights this year. Rough, rough way for it to end. Had a 7 year old daughter sitting next to me in the stands, inconsolable. But as a fan who's been there since the dark days at RFK, this was an amazing season– sooner than expected. It's a great core to build on, and we still have alot coming up Rendon (if healthy), Goodwin, lots of young pitchers. Other than deciding on EJ and Rochie, I'm not sure what the Nats have on the plate for the offseason.

  6. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Mick I believe you are right in StLouis easy K. Still could no see why it was a ball.Also Storen fear of his fastball is still not clear to me

  7. DJB - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    First, I want to congratulate the Nats on a great season. Second, Davey, by bringing in Jackson, lost the game. Third, to presume the Nats as an organization will learn from this is a common fallacy. They may get better by bringing in and developing more experienced talent, but you only learn how to lose by losing. Lastly, I believe the bullpen was worn out, which I attribute to Rizzo's monumentally stupid decision to shut down Stras. He needs to be fired. All in all, the best baseball in 80 years for D.C., but that was in spite of Rizzo, not because of him

  8. DJB - Oct 13, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Finally, on the Rizzo front. Stras appears very angry, and Bryce wants to be on a winner. The only way to go forward and sign these guys eventually is to start over with new management. Maybe, if firing is too harsh, kick Rizzo upstairs. Lastly, didn't Rizzo draft Storen over Trout, who was available. Again, great season, but I'm not sure we'll be seeing this for some time.

  9. Sally - Oct 15, 2012 at 5:47 AM

    I thought Storen actually threw strike 3 twice so I went to pitch fx when I got home. Sure enough, 2 pitches thrown to Molina were clearly in the strike zone and even not that low as it had looked in person. No clue why the umpire let those go as balls. And Storen was throwing some fastballs. I was looking at the gun and a number of pitches were clocking at 96. My biggest question is why didn't Davey walk Kozma? Seemed like a no-brainer. Go to the B9 tied 7-7. Either Motte would have had to hit for himself or Methany would have had to use the only bench player left–a back-up catcher. Cards pen was spent and I would have liked our chances in extras.Watching the replay it also appeared that Desmond gets to Descalso's grounder 9 out of 10 times. Sometimes it's just dumb luck.

  10. Sally - Oct 15, 2012 at 5:54 AM

    DJB, this team wouldn't be this team without Rizzo. He constructed it the way it is and he built a team that won 100 games total this year. Incidentally, Trout wasn't "Trout" at the time of the 2009 draft; Storen was drafted 10th, Trout 12th, so 10 other team also skipped over him. At that time the Nationals needed arms in the pen, particuarly a closer, not outfielders, and Storen was a top closer coming out of college. I doubt many scouts would have predicted how quickly and how well Trout has developed. Besides, where would the Nationals put another outfielder right now? You going to sit Werth, Harper or Morse?

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WASHINGTON 86 63 -- 2
ATLANTA 75 75 11.5
MIAMI 73 76 13.0
NEW YORK 72 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 81 17.5
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THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
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