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Can they make it back?

Oct 14, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
Davey Johnson believes his Nationals can return to the postseason in 2013.

The mantra was repeated over and over and over by just about everyone in the Nationals organization: This is a ballclub that expects to be good for a long time and expects to make many trips to the postseason.

And that belief was repeated late Friday night in the aftermath of their soul-crushing National League Division Series loss to the Cardinals.

"We've come a long, long way in a fairly short period of time," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "Like I said all along, we like where we're at. We like the core players on this team. And we're going to be excited to ratchet it up in the spring."

The belief this team just entered a long-term window for success was among the guiding principles behind Stephen Strasburg's shutdown, with Rizzo insisting he wanted the right-hander around for future postseason runs. It's among the reasons nearly every roster moveRead more »

279 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Joe Seamhead - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    First major question isn't who's on first, but it's who is going to manage? I sure hope that Davey doesn't hear that golf course calling his name, but if he does, I would understand. I think even with as much fun as he had, this season was very hard on him.

  2. dcdingo - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    I think we all want to hope, but many of us are still trying to cope with game five. My wife said every male in Washington was in a grumpy mood yesterday, from our drycleaner to the fathers at our daughter;s soccer game. She soon realized it wasn't just me.

  3. Tcostant - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    I'm still not over it, was looking forward to going to today's game (not to be). Still wish we could have gotten Storen out of there once game was tied.

  4. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Not over it here, either.

  5. Unknown - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    no guarantees onlr probabilities. doesn't happy wo davey. porter a big loss. can storen mentally recover? likely yes. lidge did,rivera did, mott did, or does hrod get healthy, throw strikes and take over? if he's on, he's lights out. who plays first, 5th starter, does espinosa crash or become desi 2012 clone?a lot of questions, but a strong team. you still have to play the games.skins and o's fan claim they've built a winner every offseason, and never go beyond wildcards and playoff losses 1st or 2nd round and those are rare.you have to win it on the fieldby the way, it isnt just drew – valverde has blow 3 and 4 run leads last 2 times. oct pressure gets everyone eventually — even rivera, best closer ever, has 2 spectacular failures on his resume.storen is smart.i think he bounces back stronger than ever.2013 is going to be fun.

  6. dcdingo - Oct 14, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Thanks Mark for the spring training countdown clock. Just noticed. Down to the seconds, no less. Feels like a form of torture today but I'm sure I'll love it after a few more weeks of pointy ball.

  7. Secret wasian man - Oct 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    The countdown is not until spring training. It is counting for 363 days.

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Good article Mark and good perspective.

  9. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Concerned about Johnson hearing the call of his all-purpose iron. If he starts having off-season nightmares about Henry and Edwin,"Ball Four" Gonzalez and Espinosa's strike-out rate (last two curable, I think, but does he want to bother?), then I think there's a real chance he takes his Manager of Year trophy home to FL. I'm not going to feel secure about that until somewhere around Christmas.There's no one in the organization who's ready for the job and no certifiable managerial geniuses out-of-work. (Don't think we want Dusty Baker.)Assuming he's coming back, I hope Johnson spends some time w/ Jim Leyland over the winter and learns how to get 240 innings out of a pitcher.

  10. Candide - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Can someone here make a REASONABLE argument explaining why the 2013 Nats shouldn't be at least as good as this year's? Because I can't.

  11. Joe Seamhead - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Well, I was starting to come out of my funk and then I had to go and read my first columns in the WaPo just now. I have two things to say after reading the paper, one to the team, and one to John Feinstein.To the team I say: Never forget how painful the feeling was you had after the last out was made, and see to it that you never experience it again.To John Feinstein: You were a very good NCAA basketball writer. You don't know squat about baseball, and let's just say it would be best for both of us if you ever sat next to me at a bar if you moved to another seat.

  12. Candide - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Something we saw over and over this season and again Friday night. Nats score a bunch of runs early, then get two base runners in the next six innings. Is the explanation that the Nats do good preparation for the other team's starter, and pay no attention to the bull pen?

  13. Candide - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Seamhead, Cunegonde had a similar reaction to Feinstein as you did when she read his column a few minutes ago:"Oooh, I don't like this Feinstein guy…"

  14. Another_Sam - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Swami and MicheleS [et al.] — thank you for your theraputic posts on an earlier thread. Although I've been trying to indicate otherwise, I'm a bit crushed but I'm recovering. I too am already feeling the void. [I'm trying very hard to avoid "One more damn strike" thoughts. If hadn't ended on Friday night, it would have ended one way or another sometime in the next two weeks.]I'm with NatsJack and others on the unfolding of the game. It went into the eighth with a lead, with Clippard and Storen ready. That's the way the Nationals roll. What more did the LoD want?An upside is that I find that I can be more objective about the remaining games. I actually followed the game on a legitimate level last night.As for highlight reels — I decline. The immediacy [sp?] of the game is a major attraction for me, and thus retrospectives don't fill any hole in my psyche. Or, I'm only as good as the last — or next — game.I'm eager for the opining here, after the patina of Firday night has dulled.And Mark — thank you again for your work this seasn. Great stuff that I enjoyed immensely.Viera is nice enough in March. Perhaps I'll be retired by then, and thus down for longer than a week. Hope springs eternal.Did anyone see the piece in yesterday's Post about the guy who is hoping to sell the nameplate from Griffith Stadium?And thank you, NatsInsiders, for enduring this theraputic posting.

  15. Another_Sam - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Seamhead et al.: Regarding Feinstein's piece — didn't read it, and I won't. I too liked some of his books. I'm skipping this piece for all the reasons you indicate, and one more: The nationals are the hot story in town, so everyone with a byline weighs in to exploit the action.Thanks, man.

  16. Feel Wood - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Candide said… Seamhead, Cunegonde had a similar reaction to Feinstein as you did when she read his column a few minutes ago:"Oooh, I don't like this Feinstein guy…"You're an opera buff, right? Then you must have liked John Feinstein's father.

  17. Section 135 - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    We need to make some major noise in the offseason. Rizzo needs to show he's all in after the shutdown or he will be doubted by the fans and players. He said 2013 and on is our window. So now he needs to prove this. All holes need to be filled. In the past you could lay low in the offseason waiting for your home grown players to develop, but consistenly winning teams dont wait. Look at the cardinals, who quickly replaced Pujols with Beltran. You can no longer wait for guys like Espi to develop. I expect some big trades or signings. Last season's trade for Gio was the reason we are here, now we need to see more. I want a top notch starter, several bullpen pieces, and either a great CF or a quality bat. Espi needs to know that his free swinging ways can't exist on a championship team.

  18. sm13 - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    The core of this team is set up for the long haul and for a long run a playoff baseball. We won't win every world series, but I'd say the over-under on how many playoffs we get to in the next ten years is 7. The youth on this team and coming through the minor league system will carry us better than a splashy free agent or two. A couple of holes need filling — another flame-throwing starter and maybe one in the bullpen — but, the 2013 team will look a lot like the 2012 vintage. On another note, I hope Drew takes some solace out of Valverde's blow up in the 9th yesterday. It is the life of the closer, as Drew put it early this morning — greatest job when you succeed, worst job when you fail. I'm rooting for Drew to come back strong next year with a fully healed elbow and a new fire in his belly.

  19. waddu eye no - Oct 14, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Worked 5 years for feinstein's father. He knew more about opera than his son knows about baseball. Martin actually watched the shows

  20. SlowPitch63 - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Wow! It still hurts so badly, but that's the price I gladly pay for finally following a very good team.Thank you Nats.Thank you NI.I almost never post because I record the games and watch the complete games the next day, thus have nothing new to say.What a wonderful year! Mark and all on NI have made my life richer.Let's Play Two

  21. Constant Reader - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Finally allowing myself to reconnect. Walking Kozma really was a no-brainer, wasn't it?It is going to take a LONG time to get over this.

  22. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    June 14, 2011 the Nats had a remarkable 6 run comeback win. It was against none other than the St Louie Cardinals.

  23. Candide - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Didn't know Martin Feinstein. Sounds like he knew more about opera than his son knows about baseball.

  24. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Still not reading anything. I hope whatever Jerk on twitter that made threats against DRUUU is found and put in jail. or at least Id'd to me so I can go over and give the baffoon a piece of my mind. and then terrorize him for the rest of eternity. Don't piss me off people, I have a mean vindictive streak. (and John Feinstein is a fat pompous tub of goo who hasn't written anything meanful since 1985)That being said.I am THRILLED to say that I am wearing my Adam LaRouch shersey today. Still not over this, will not read anything probably until next year.Thanks for the countdown clock.

  25. Candide - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    MicheleS said…I am THRILLED to say that I am wearing my Adam LaRouch shersey today.I like that. Why don't we all designate today as "Wear Your Nats Jersey Day (AKA "Put Your Red On 2012 Day")? RZ for me, since both of mine are RZs…

  26. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    "Can someone here make a REASONABLE argument explaining why the 2013 Nats shouldn't be at least as good as this year's? Because I can't."Probably not. On offense, the expectation is that full, healthy seasons for Werth, Zimmerman and Morse will translate to even more power, more big innings.My excitement for the offense would be tempered if LaRoche ends up signing elsewhere, especially if it happens late in the offseason. While there may be a replacement at 1B, there is no assurance Moore is ready to be a full-time player; it's pretty certain that Bernadina is best as a part-timer, and moving either Morse or Moore to 1B would mean a shortage of depth in the OF. Hopefully the Nats lock up LaRoche early. Starting pitching should be stronger w/ a full season of a fully-recuperated Strasburg, and Detwiler continuing to develop, but (A) there's no clear 5th starter; (B) we may have seen the best we're going to see out of Gonzalez and Zimmermann. Certainly the last 2-3 weeks weren't encouraging. Bullpen has turned into a question mark. I give Storen the benefit of believing that he is still recovering from surgery and will benefit from a normal Spring Training and a completely health elbow. As I have all season, I think the quality of the relievers is linked to the quality of the starters and another year of five-inning starts could yield the same results. It's too much to expect the relievers to get 12 outs, or even nine, day in and day out and, in any case, they'll be worn down if not out by the end of the season (see, e.g., Sept.-Oct.).Being better next year means better performances by a number of players. Nothing unusual about that.

  27. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Hi Davey!!! I am sure you will read this at some point in the offseason. Remember the bribe I offered earlier so that you would return next season? I make mean chocolate chip cookies. I spend a load of $$$ on Nats stuff, so I am sure I can spend a load of $$$ at your wife's store next spring training. Just name you price. Let Mark Z know and he can forward it to me.

  28. sjb - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    For those who did not read Feinstein's column: Several paragraphs in, he asks to question, "Do you honestly believe the Nationals would have wasted a 6-0 lead Friday night had Strasburg been the starting pitcher?"On Firday nitght, July 20', the Nationals took a 9-0 lead into the sixth inning and ended up losing 11-10.The starting pitcher: Stephen Strasburg.

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Here is a quote Kilgore got from Storen. Probably heat of the moment but taken purely in context is not a good approach to repeat. "I made good pitches. I wouldn't change a thing. I have no regrets."Drew buddy, you had a 2 run lead. Once you walked Molina to put the tying on base you put yourself in the situation where the winning run Freese was in the batters box.Molina could not get on base. Learn from your mistakes and please don't say you wouldn't change a thIng because your thing didn't work.

  30. waddu eye no - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Candide- great minds, etc….

  31. NatsFanSinceStart - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    In a word: Yes. In four words: Of course they can.I'd feel more confident if they had a better game manager, one not so rigid, old school and political. Is Tony Larussa able to be coaxed out of retirement?

  32. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    SJB, the Friday night July 20th Braves 9-0 blown lead loss is more significant that Davey didn't learn from his mistakes. He left Strasburg in too long and repeated that with Gio with, count them, a 9 man bullpen in a do or die game and a 6-1 lead. Why did Davey bring in EJax as a reliever when EJAx is so poor in his 1st inning of work?Was Gio left in for the 5th to record the win? Matheny pulled Wainwright after 2 1/3 why wouldn't you pull Gio at 4?

  33. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Please take that counter down. Winter is going to be depressing like always.

  34. NatsFanSinceStart - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    So much emotion here — What people aren't getting here and aren't able to see through the haze of pure, febrile emotion is this: much of Friday's meltdown might have been prevented with a more aggressive management style, one that doesnt spare feelings but intends on winning a game. Johnson's total mismanagement of the pitching can logically be the main attributor to the meltdown. As much as I like and revere Johnson as a baseball man and a good clubhouse manager, his on-field management skills are just not championship calibre.

  35. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    I am ready for spring training to begin.

  36. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    really? questioning the guy who has brought us to postseason from under .500 and done that with 3 other teams besides winning one World Series? yeah, his on-field skills suck.

  37. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Faraz.. Shake if off, buddy, put on your favorite team shirt, and remember the good times. Remember how you felt after JDub clobbered that homer on Thursday night. I am flipping between acceptance and anger right now. Most of the anger directed at pompous jerks who think they could have done better on the field or managed the team better. See if they were so great why aren't they out playing/managing?My acceptance is that this team is contstructed really well and will be prepared for next year. My hope is that everyone gets all the injuries/surgeries out of the way early and has a healthy 2013. Hope Sean B gets healthy fast. Glad he is getting the bone spur out now. Hopefully RZ will get that shoulder scoped ASAP

  38. A DC Wonk - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Assuming he's coming back, I hope Johnson spends some time w/ Jim Leyland over the winter and learns how to get 240 innings out of a pitcher.You get 240 innings out of a pitcher by building him up year after year. JZ (age 26) and Stras (23!) are still babes. Even the "experienced" Gio is only 26. Players reach their prime in ages 27-32 — Detwiler is 26, Drew is 24.I hope this answers your question — and also answers the question of whether the Nats can get back to the playoffs again. All the pitchers I just named — going by age only — still have *upside*.(HRod is 25, Ch.Garcia is 26)And that's only talking about pitching — look at our hitting: Ramos is 24 (Sandy Leon is 23), Espi is 25, Ian is 26, (Harper is 19), Lombo is 23, Tyler Moore is 25, Eury is 22. All those guys have upside, too.And, finally, one more thing: those stats about which WS champs make it back to the playoffs isn't relevant, because now there is a wildcard. The Nats just have to finish in the top five of 15 teams.(I.e., a more relvant stat would be: how many WS champs would not have qualified the following year under the current sytem. Even better, how many *young* WS champs would not have qualified).The Nats had approximately the youngest team in baseball, with a great many stars under contract for years to come. That's why the odds are so good for the Nats in the upcoming years.

  39. A DC Wonk - Oct 14, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    (I meant to say: because now there is an additional wildcard…

  40. BigCat - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    All the second guessing about Davey and the pen, about Rizzo and Srasburg. Bottom line is, as some have said on here, is that we had a 6-3 lead in the top of the 8th with everything lined up the way we wanted it. Clip in the 8th and Drew for the 9th. This has been our mantra all season. Well it didn't work Friday night. If we win 98 regular season games next year, it will be another great year. As for you Drew, I will quote the great Charles "Lefty" Driesell…."The sun don't shine on the sames dog butt every day." You are a hell of a pitcher Drew. I am glad you are on our side.

  41. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Wonk.. did you know that Verlander didn't go over 200 IP until his age 26 season in 2009? In 2007/2008 he hit 201 so slightly over. 2006 he was in the 180's.Sherzer has never pitched over 200 innings. Fister is 28 and only pitched over 200 innings last year. Sanchez is 28 and he hasn't picthed over 200 innings either.Porcello is age 23 and has never pitched over 200 innings. He is not nearly as good as Stras.So much for Leyland showing Davey how to get 240 innings out of a pitcher

  42. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Why did Davey bring in EJax as a reliever when EJAx is so poor in his 1st inning of work?Ghost,Davey went with his gut and percentages. Davey felt that EJax with his playoff experience would not be as affected by the stress of a key moment in the game when the Card were trying to stage a comeback … that EJax would be all in an throwing like Jordan Zimmermann did the night before. Instead of using Garcia or Mattheus. That didn't happen but he did manage to escape with the lead intact. Clippard also had problems … allowing another home run. His lefties, particularly Burnett, weren't as reliable as he would like … Gorzo and Gonzalez. Bottom line: They learned something. Jordan Zimmermann can be as good a pitcher as Strasburg. EJax pales by comparision. Probably isn't much in the way of consolation but that is a good thing to know … looks to me like Zimmermann slides back into the #2 starter's role next season. Gio's Cy Young run notwithstanding.

  43. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Michele, winter will always be depressing even if Nationals win WS. That's what I was trying to say.By the way, I heard Burnett is likely to opt out of mutual option for next season. I guess he could score a multi-year deal somewhere, but not for 3.5 million I think.anyways, I am not going to get into whether we can come back next playoffs or not. It is too early to say, depends on what we do this off-season with ALR. If he walks and Morse is moved to 1B, what do we do with LF? Give it TyMo, another righ-handed? or split time between TyMo and Brown? How do we replace ALR's left-handed pop in our lineup? Besides an accomplished veteran presence in the rotation can help (I like GoSM's Felix suggestion now). If Burnett walks, who is LH specialist? What do we do with HRod, Kimball, Marrero, etc? Let's talk about these things among others.

  44. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Peric, the only reason I think JZ still would be technically the 3 starter is to break up the the two righties. I think it goes: Stras/Gio/Jz/Ross. We have 1, 1A, 1B at the top. And if Ross continues to improve he can be a legit #2/3. Then the question becomes who is the #5. I think we all agree EJ won't be back

  45. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    An interesting take on Leyland's in game management from last night

  46. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Finally, the way they've positioned their minor league prospects to be within 1 year or slightly more of the majors? they do have a fairly decent sized group of position players plus some top end right-handed starting pitching. Two things happen, they eschew free agent signings awaiting their arrival, or they make another block buster trade for a left-handed starter still under team control for at least 2 years or more. Since Rizzo managed to convince ownership to try the latter and it succeeded it sure seems like that could happen again this offseason. With three lefty power pitchers in the rotation along with Strasburg and Zimmermann they would appear to be set up for a long run.But it would once again drain the farm system which is never a good thing. Replacing those prospects would be problematic given the new Nats inspired draft rules. International signings has not been pursued as well as other teams have … Maya and Rafael Martin appear to be dead ends. Of course there still are Solano and Sandy Leon … It'll be interesting …

  47. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    the only reason I think JZ still would be technically the 3 starter is to break up the the two righties.MicheleS,I believe that's how it started … however, note that in the playoffs the left-handed starter got the first game against a team with great right-handed hitting. Gio was considered "the ace" after Strasburg due to his body of work this season.However, JZim appeared to surprise by proving in that series that he does have more ceiling. Whereas Gio does not. In that single relief appearance JZim's value went up quite a bit in many a GM's eyes.

  48. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Another cathartic thing to do if you are on twitter. UnFollow all the national writers. They are all in mourning over Jeter's ankle. Unfollow the ones that are total tool's as well.

  49. JaneB - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Yesterday I rocked my Storen Shersey. Today, like MichellesS, I have my ALR on. I intend to wear a Nats players name every day until the World Serious is over, just to hold the space for them next year. If I can't wear it to a client, I can at least put it on in the morning or evening. I LOVE THE COUNTDOWN CLOCK, and the specificity of the hours, minutes and seconds.These guys will never forget how this felt. AND I believe that fear of that moment, these days, is exactly what bit them. Playing with joy and purpose is a different thing than playing with fear mixed in. The Cards have more experience eliminating the fear. I believe we are in the playoffs for years to come. I expect to see us in the Serious, as well. I hope we don't make many moves, except for a pitcher. We don't need Bourn, because we have The Kid. Since chemistry is such a big factor on the team, I think that rules out Greinke and Hamilton (who is lovely except when he's not).I believe we are all connected — to each other and to our player and to other fans. It isn't just the MEN who have been wandering around cranky. I got hissed at by a woman yesterday for wearing Nats stuff, and I just shot back that I was standing by them no matter what. We are collectively processing grief — our own, and everyone else's. In the meantime, I will avoid the WaPo today — tanks for the heads up. As for Feinstein, I do give him credit for writing a kids mystery book in which the Nats were playing the Red Sox in the World Series. But I'm going to take a pass on him today. We don't need more finger pointing and venom spewing to pour on the wounds.Davey, rest, heal up and come back. HYFNH!

  50. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Peric, the only problem with those GM's is that JZ had the relief appearance because he got shelled in game 2. And despite Gio's wildness in game 1 he only gave up 2 runs (and had the crap inning in game 5). have to look at the entire picture not just 1 inning. JZ will be better next year, no doubt about that and so will Gio.

  51. D Hudson - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    B.Selig and his present playoff format stinks! Why? The Nats/Reds – the2 teams w/the best records in the NL are sitting at home whilea 3rd place team and a wild card are playing for the WS – what's next? – add several more teams and have a NCAA style one game eliminationtournament to see who gets into the WS?!?The old format works [even w/the additional exp teams] – you havea NL East and West – 8 teams each – play a 162 game season -best team in each div plays the other in a 7 game series – winner goesto the world series! A 162 game season is enough to determinewho the 2 best teams are – what's the point in playing all thosegames if a wild card somehow sneaks into and wins the WSeries?!

  52. JaneB - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    MichelleS, I did that this morning. Unfollowed MLB Friday night/Saturday morning before bedtime. Love the "NonBaseballTweet" that is starting to develop, which I saw first from Drew's mother.

  53. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    T_Mo12 and Stras37 made it home already talking about hunting together.

  54. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Peric, the only problem with those GM's is that JZ had the relief appearance because he got shelled in game 2.Jordan raised the bar when his fast ball peaked over 97. Of all the starters only Stras can do that, with control, at this point. And that was the big point of that relief appearance … as amped up as JZim was he still managed to control his over the top fast ball and spot it for K's. No one was expecting that. It could mean he has more ceiling as a starter. And the home crowd amped him up in a good way … and it was huge. One of many things the Nats FO and coaching staff learned about their players during these playoffs.

  55. LoveDaNats - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Feeling a bit better. I've got nothing to add except all of you thoughtful Insider posters (and you know who you are) are helping to process shock, grief and Saditude back to 2013 Natitude. Thanks

  56. JT - Oct 14, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Its beginning to settle in that the season has come and gone, and while the bad taste of game 5 still lingers, I have set my signts on whats next. No since dwelling on what might have been but instead on what might be. I look forward to the moves the team makes to improve and spring training in Viera. When I look back I'll choose to remember the positive steps the 2012 season provided and they were many. Many thanks to the Nats for providing thrills all season and raising expectations for the future. The folks in here are great. The wounds will heal, the hurt will subside and hopes and dreams will return to the forefront of our thoughts. Go Nats and thanks for a great season.

  57. SFNats - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    I'd just like to say for the record that for the first time since I moved here, it really sucks to live in the Bay area. I can't wait to go to work tomorrow and see the city done up in Giants/NLCS gear. Ugh.

  58. UnkyD - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Mindless, loser column from Junior…But maybe I'm just as much of a loser. The taste is already gone, for me…really. If I sit down to a friendly poker game, where the ante is a quarter, with a two roll stake, win a couple of pots, stick a twenty back in my wallet, and proceed to lose the fifty I had left on the table… It's been a great night! I spent several hours with old friends, quaffed a few, enjoyed some snacks….. It's called House Money. I don't feel like our guys played over their heads, in winning 98 games, this year… Only that they hit post-season pay dirt one October earlier than expected. For me , every day in 1st place, after ASB, was House Money, so overall, factoring in how much I enjoyed winning series after series, and sharing it with y'all, I'm feeling blessed, regardless of the Friday's outcome. It's not a silver lining, or rationalization, it's perspective, which seems to be my particular gift (would that perspective could be translated into material wealth…sigh…). Understand: I'm not poking at anybody, or making light of anyone who'll be down-in-the-mouth, for awhile… My "perspective" is undoubtably why I live in a tiny apartment, with my lovely wife and our dog, at age 53…. As I said, maybe I AM a loser. But that "perspective" is also why I'm so grateful that I don't live by myself, under a bridge, somewhere. So, I hope, in a couple of weeks, all of our eyes will be bright, anticipating what tweaks Rizzo has in store (really… "several" BP pieces?! Maybe one strong LH power guy… I love our RH BP arms, and Kimball will be back, no?). I can see a move for another Ace, and MAYBE a top shelf bat, to go with Harp and JW, in the outfield. Other than that, maybe clear out a logjam or two, for some young high-level prospects. Extend JZim, (&Det?)… Don't think he'll shake up too much, beyond that.Can't WAIT for pitchers and catchers!!!! Maybe I'll hit the lottery, and see some of y'all at spring training!!! GYFNG!!!!!

  59. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Peric, Davey's own words before the game was EJax would be used if the game went to extra innings.My 5 questions:1. Why did you start Espi2. Why did Gio come out for the 5th after he struggled. With 8 in the bullpen plus EJax, Davey had plenty of arms.3. In the 8th inning, why didn't Davey pinch hit for Espi4. Why didn't McCatty come out before Molina got into the batters box and stressing to Drew that you can not allow the tying run on base.5. Once the score was tied and DeScalso stole 2nd, why didn't Davey intentionally walk Kozma to force Matheny to use his backup catcher and last bench player or stick with Motte. Strategically it would have forced Cardinals into a predicament as they only had 2 pitchers remaining.

  60. Gonat - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Peric, Davey's own words before the game was EJax would be used if the game went to extra innings.My 5 questions:1. Why did you start Espi2. Why did Gio come out for the 5th after he struggled. With 8 in the bullpen plus EJax, Davey had plenty of arms.3. In the 8th inning, why didn't Davey pinch hit for Espi4. Why didn't McCatty come out before Molina got into the batters box and stressing to Drew that you can not allow the tying run on base.5. Once the score was tied and DeScalso stole 2nd, why didn't Davey intentionally walk Kozma to force Matheny to use his backup catcher and last bench player or stick with Motte. Strategically it would have forced Cardinals into a predicament as they only had 2 pitchers remaining._____________________________That's really 6 questions as why did Davey contradict himself when he stated he was only going to use EJax if the game went into extra innings.I have been making the same point that EJax's record in 1st innings of games is not good. Giving up that run made the score 6-4. It was almost getting down to zero margin for error.Edwin's 6.97 ERA in his 1st inning of work in the regular season is case and point compared to JZim 1.12 ERA is a huge difference.Davey went away from his own gameplan and it bit him.He should have been going situational the rest of the game and preserved that 6-1 lead.

  61. Laddie Blah Blah - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Great questions, Ghost.

  62. JaneB - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    If I knew how to do a link here I would. So instead:No joy in Mudville, or in D.C.ByBob Schieffer(CBS News) It was a week of highs and lows in Washington, and for once we're not talking politics!Things were looking mighty good for our beloved Nats.Harper found his batting eye, Zimmerman his bat. Can this be right? Is it true? Are we having too much fun? We were leading three to zip and it was only inning one.The innings really rolled along. We could not believe our eyes. From Morse the Beast and Harper: homers Big Boy size! God is great and so are we. We sing Hip, Hip Hurrah! At the end of three: the Nats are six, the Cardinal lads, Na-da.It was very close to freezing but no one there was cold. World Series fever kept 'em warm, if the truth be told. With victory in the offing, tomorrow'll be a glorious day. But then the Cardinals – being birds – began to peck away.Their first score in inning four put no damper on our glee. Shortly then, they got two more, but we still led six to three. By inning nine, it's 7-5, we're comfortably ahead. But suddenly these Cards seemed risen from the dead.Our closer guy is throwing heat but Cardinal bats got hot. We don't know how or why, but leading now, we're not. We had ourselves believing we were on the way to heaven. But dreams became reality. We lost it, nine to seven.In Casey's famous epitaph, the sun did still shine bright. Bands still played, children sang. Somewhere hearts were light. Skies were blue as blue and somewhere bells were ringing. But there was no joy in Mudville when Casey went down swinging.And so it was in Washington on a cold and windy eve. Yes, baseball is our greatest game, that I still believe. But know like love, it brings a risk and that's the other part. If you take it seriously, it just may break your heart.Congratulations to the Cardinals. Thanks to the Nats for a really great year!© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

  63. Oldguy - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Though I have been through this before with my former favorite team, it was still painful. (The first world series I remember also involved the Cardinals–1946. MVP Ted hit .200.) To be honest, my friend who was with me at the game Friday night said he could see that I saw it coming. I didn't feel that, but maybe he was right.The encouraging words in here are good–people who really understand baseball realize this is just a bump in the road, painful as it is. To be honest again, I was not real sure I wanted to see the Nats in the WS this year. For one thing, the last four teams to go to their first world series have a combined record of 2-16. Two of those teams hung around (Texas and TB) and the other two faded fast (Astros & Rockies.) I see us still building–and maybe we were not quite as good as our record this year. (Last 2 years we were better than our record, I thought.)If Davey doesn't come back, I'd be real happy with Randy Knorr. Younger, maybe not as rigid, knows our young guys well.One suggestion of ALR moves on. The Red Sox are blowing everything up, so go all out for Ellsbury. Move Beast to 1B. That would be a hell of an outfield.Really looking forward to our next (and last) season in Viera–then it's on to Ft. Myers. Three teams there, much less driving around.Courage, friends. I waited most of my life for my other team to win the Series, and man, it was sweet! Our first one will be even sweeter.

  64. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    You want to know what I am looking forward to. Watching Christian Garcia bloom. Will he be stretched out as a SP in spring training? How long will he be in the minors? Will it work? When does he come back to DC?

  65. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Beyond Christian Garcia, there is still Ryan Perry if they decide to keep him on the 40-man roster, there's Nate Karns who is 25 now and due to pitch in Harrisburg … he and not Christian Garcia was the system's pitcher of the year. A lot of this could be (as I infer from Natsjack and Ghost as well) moves to position the Nats into the best posture to make some trades. My suspicion is that they prefer gaining players who are young and just about to bloom and still under team control. So, perhaps its Ellsbury (seems unlikely to me) but more likely I suspect would be David Price and Jimmy Shields … I suspect Price would be more coveted by the Nats but also the Braves and Phils …

  66. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Peric, The cost for Price is going to be outrageous. I am sure Rizzo has another shocker like Gio in mind, but I look for someone other than Price. Phils don't have anyting in their system that the Rays want. And the Braves won't give up the Arms that the Rays would want.

  67. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Ghost, maybe the Junkies still have a show left with Davey and perhaps they'll ask him … the beat reporters had their chances and didn't so … The underlying question to the many questions posed appears to be whether Davey allowed himself to be out managed by Matheny. If perhaps the long season finally got to Davey given his age … That's the question I am certain will be asked before too long.

  68. Laddie Blah Blah - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    "Can someone here make a REASONABLE argument explaining why the 2013 Nats shouldn't be at least as good as this year's? Because I can't."I can't, either, but I think a lot of the Nats success had to do with the way Davey nurtured his young team. Rizzo will make the team stronger over the winter. I don't know what he will do, but he seems to know where to find answers to the Nats problems, and to get them at reasonable prices.If Davey comes back, the team's cohesion and esprit will build on its successes from this year. Davey makes tactical game-time mistakes, but his skill in managing and building team and individual morale were key to the Nats' success. Any other successor would have a hard act to follow.They are young enough, and talented enough, to be even better next year. Rizzo has shown that he is willing to part with former stalwarts if he can get better personnel, e.g. Ross Detwiler and Suzuki for John Lannan and Jesus Flores. He will promote from within (Detwiler) or go outside (Suzuki), but he will make needed movesHe will upgrade the pitching staff, always his first priority, and may make moves to improve the defense in LF, the only chink in the Nats' defensive armor. It remains to be seen if Espinoza will go the way of Lannan and Flores, or if he gets one last chance with the Nats. Nothing would surprise me, either way.They should be even better next year, even if Rizzo surprises me and stands pat. Stras will be available for a full season, and Harp will build on a terrific rookie season. Gio will mature, probably, and JZ still has enormous upside, as we saw in game 4 with the Cards. The odds are against the same level of lost production to injuries to key personnel for long stretches of the season. But, of course, you cannot ever count on that, but the odds favor a more healthy year. Imagine Zim with a healthy shoulder for the entire year.As good as they were this year, they should be even better next year.

  69. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Peric, The cost for Price is going to be outrageous. I am sure Rizzo has another shocker like Gio in mind, but I look for someone other than Price.The Rays need infielders and hitting. The Nats have both which are young and under team control. Plus some up-and-coming minor league starters including Christian Garcia. The Nats have what it would take to get Price. I suspect Rizzo will pursue that one as far as he possibly can.

  70. Gonat - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  71. Gonat - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… 5. Once the score was tied and DeScalso stole 2nd, why didn't Davey intentionally walk Kozma to force Matheny to use his backup catcher and last bench player or stick with Motte. Strategically it would have forced Cardinals into a predicament as they only had 2 pitchers remaining._________________________Its as if Davey forgot about what was going on before him. Matheny sent Motte into the on-deck circle and Kozma up to the plate. It was right before him. Game tied and huge advantage to the Nats to get a walk-off. The Cardinals had sitting in the bullpen at the time only left-hander Marc Rzepczynski, Lance Lynn, and rookie Shelby Miller who had replaced the injured Jaime Garcia on the roster.The Nats still had Ryan Mattheus, Christian Garcia, and Michael Gonzalez and Tyler Moore, Jesus Flores and Steve Lombardozzi on the bench and long-man Tom Gorzelanny.The Nats would have been in the driver's seat for extra innings.It should've been the Cardinals fans second guessing instead of the Nats. Davey really did falter quite a few times and even contradicted his own pre-game statements on how EJax would be used (extra innings).

  72. rogieshan - Oct 14, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Ghost, here's my attempt at your 5 questions:1) Keeping a positive tone within the close-knit, core group of players. Davey had to weigh the pros and cons of taking out an unproductive Espinosa and the effect it would've had on the team. Plus, he made a firm commitment to go with the players who got them there. 2) Davey was hoping Gio would settle down and find his groove, something he has done pretty much all year when struggling early in a game. He was still the best option in the 5th. Plus, we had a 5-run lead.3) See answer to 1). Avoiding a possible Billy Martin-Reggie Jackson-like confrontation in the dugout. Plus, Davey would've had to burn Lombardozzi to play at 2nd base and he was already about to use Chad Tracy, leaving him without a left-handed bat for possible extra innings.4) Storen had retired Holliday and just struck out Craig. We were down to the final out. I don't think McCatty or anyone needed to remind Drew what not to do next.5) I think everyone, including Davey, was still in a state of shock from what just transpired and couldn't think clearly. Or, there was a bigger fear that Storen would walk in the go-ahead run with the bases loaded. Another possible explanation is that he liked his odds better facing Motte for a second inning (the team had already scored against him in the 8th.) In hindsight, of all the decisions Davey made in the game, this is probably one he wish he could do over.

  73. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    The 2013 Nats will be better. Get Lohse as a Free Agent and re-sign LaRoche.

  74. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Rogie, like your counterpoints. I think all valid. Just can't defense using EJax and probably not walking Kozma. Davey had to force Matheny's hand as tie games favor the home team.I would have pulled Gio and I sais it in the in-game thread as the game was unfolding.

  75. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    I demur to Peric about needing a "left-handed power pitcher." They need a pitcher, period, and if I had a preference it would be for a RH. Barfs and Philthies not withstanding, a rotation should not be unbalanced w/ three lefties. Especially the Barfs, as Bourne probably will be gone and there is a 90 percent chance (or more) that whoever gets plugged in C. Jones's spot in the lineup will bat right. The risk is that they will get stronger from the right side by ditching Uggla. In the trade market, the Nats need to target teams that need position players (e.g., Padres, Mariners, Astros) and use some of Peric's favorite minor leaguers to fleece them out of a young pitcher.

  76. JamesFan - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Great year for the Nats, but in the end the Cardinals were mentally tougher than we were. They out hit us and out pitched us–Wainwright an exception–overall.Whether we come back depends on what we do over the winter. Others will upgrade. We must do as well. We need a tougher fifth starter (EJax I don't think is the answer). We need to decide what to do with Moore and Lombo. We need an upgrade at 2d base, and we need to upgrade the pen. I would keep Garcia in the pen and spend money on a fifth starter. In case a starter goes down, we need some good starters at the top in the minors. We should let Burnett and Gorzy go unless we can't find better options. Finally, we need to decide what to do in center field. I'm afraid the kid is going to bang into a wall and really get hurt.We cannot stand pat and expect to be in the playoffs next year.

  77. Another_Sam - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Ghost — I LOL'd when I read your thought regarding " . . . stress that you cannot allow the tying run on base . . ." the visitor to the mound could also recite " .. . don't walk the leadoff hitter . . ." he could remind the runners " . . . don't make the first or the third out at third base . . ."He could remind the bridge players on the tean " . . . third hand high . . ."He could suggest that equity investing players " . . . buy low, sell high . . ."you get my drift? LOLjust kidding.

  78. Feel Wood - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    peric said… Peric, The cost for Price is going to be outrageous. I am sure Rizzo has another shocker like Gio in mind, but I look for someone other than Price. The Rays need infielders and hitting. The Nats have both which are young and under team control. Plus some up-and-coming minor league starters including Christian Garcia. Yep. Look for Rendon to be included in the package if they go after Price.

  79. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    My reaction upon seeing the headline was this: pass. Can't comment further as I've not read it. :-)Candide said… Seamhead, Cunegonde had a similar reaction to Feinstein as you did when she read his column a few minutes ago:"Oooh, I don't like this Feinstein guy…" October 14, 2012 9:09 AM

  80. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Again, a great year but Davey made critical mistakes and the Media only asked him about EJax and he gave a lousy answer.I dint think anyone asked about Kozma or pulling Gio.

  81. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Michele, did you see this from Chad Cordero? (Yeah, I happened to look on the Tweeter and see a RT of it.) Atta way, Chief!Chad Cordero ‏@ChadCordero32I have no respect for people who tweet hateful, disrespectful things to someone over a baseball game. @DrewStoren is a class actMicheleS said… Still not reading anything. I hope whatever Jerk on twitter that made threats against DRUUU is found and put in jail. or at least Id'd to me so I can go over and give the baffoon a piece of my mind. and then terrorize him for the rest of eternity.

  82. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    1A.. Saw that from the Chief. Great guy. Class act. Hope he can make it back in MLB.

  83. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    I don't tend to buy player tees/jerseys, but as previously noted I wear my Nats gear year-round (my husband says I have a Nats top for every day of the year but it's not quite that bad – maybe for every day of a month – heh). Have been wearing Nats gear this weekend and saw other folks doing the same when I was out and about.Candide said… MicheleS said…I am THRILLED to say that I am wearing my Adam LaRouch shersey today. I like that. Why don't we all designate today as "Wear Your Nats Jersey Day (AKA "Put Your Red On 2012 Day")? RZ for me, since both of mine are RZs… October 14, 2012 10:14 AM

  84. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    MicheleS, agreed. I always liked the kid. Loved the Svrluga story about his signing at the kitchen table with his folks.

  85. JamesFan - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    I would not let Rendon go. In a year or two, we need to move Zim to 1st and put Rendon on third. I don't want to always trade away great young talent for Vets. If we do, we quickly look like the Yankees or Phils, and I wouldn't trade the Nats straight up for either of these dwindling franchises.

  86. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Me, too. Cha-ching! :-)MicheleS said… I spend a load of $$$ on Nats stuff, so I am sure I can spend a load of $$$ at your wife's store next spring training. October 14, 2012 10:14 AM

  87. Dave - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Not gonna read Feinstein. I can tell from what you all are saying that he's yet another bonehead. I hope Davey is back next year. I know he made mistakes on Friday, but he got them as far as they went this year. I wouldn't mind seeing Lohse with a curly-W on his cap. And I hope they can re-sign ALR for a couple years.

  88. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 14, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    I'm watching that guy getting ready to jump out of that balloon that's at almost 128,000 feet up.CNN….

  89. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Unk, agree with many of your points. The first thing I said to my husband after the game ended was that I was grateful to have experienced the playoff scene in person. I was lucky enough to go to all the home games, and that was some peak baseball (and some valley baseball, but I digress). Before the season started, I did not expect them to win the division. Agreed on perspective as well, and I posted something to that effect yesterday. I know first-hand that there are a lot worse things in life than losing a playoff game. Despite that, I do have some sadness – maybe because I didn't have time to prepare for the end (as with the regular season, one knows which day it will be). As with Old Guy's friend, I did experience apprehension as the game progressed (Cards chipping away while the Nats stopped scoring until late). But I also had hope until the end. Haven't felt angry but there is a certain residual sadness/wistfulness (which I tend to have when the season ends, anyway). On a related note, I learned that my timeshare cat does not have a future as a therapy animal. Poor kitty. I may have been a bit too needy for him. :-) UnkyD said… But maybe I'm just as much of a loser. The taste is already gone, for me…really. If I sit down to a friendly poker game, where the ante is a quarter, with a two roll stake, win a couple of pots, stick a twenty back in my wallet, and proceed to lose the fifty I had left on the table… It's been a great night! I spent several hours with old friends, quaffed a few, enjoyed some snacks….. It's called House Money. I don't feel like our guys played over their heads, in winning 98 games, this year… Only that they hit post-season pay dirt one October earlier than expected. For me , every day in 1st place, after ASB, was House Money, so overall, factoring in how much I enjoyed winning series after series, and sharing it with y'all, I'm feeling blessed, regardless of the Friday's outcome. It's not a silver lining, or rationalization, it's perspective, which seems to be my particular gift (would that perspective could be translated into material wealth…sigh…). Understand: I'm not poking at anybody, or making light of anyone who'll be down-in-the-mouth, for awhile… My "perspective" is undoubtably why I live in a tiny apartment, with my lovely wife and our dog, at age 53…. As I said, maybe I AM a loser. But that "perspective" is also why I'm so grateful that I don't live by myself, under a bridge, somewhere. So, I hope, in a couple of weeks, all of our eyes will be bright, anticipating what tweaks Rizzo has in store (really… "several" BP pieces?! Maybe one strong LH power guy… I love our RH BP arms, and Kimball will be back, no?). I can see a move for another Ace, and MAYBE a top shelf bat, to go with Harp and JW, in the outfield. Other than that, maybe clear out a logjam or two, for some young high-level prospects. Extend JZim, (&Det?)… Don't think he'll shake up too much, beyond that. Can't WAIT for pitchers and catchers!!!! Maybe I'll hit the lottery, and see some of y'all at spring training!!! GYFNG!!!!! October 14, 2012 12:04 PM

  90. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Oh, and I didn't post my Clint story. At one point during Friday's game (middle or late innings – I can't recall), he and his entourage came up to the heights of sec 236, where we were seated for that game. They had a bunch of t-shirts and caps to give away. They hung around on the steps and were waiting for the bottom of the inning to end (there were 2 outs). I stood up to watch the action, because the Nats were trying to mount a rally. My husband asked why I was standing, and I said that I was trying to see the game. One of the Nat Pack girls looked over at me with a "What's up with that?" expression. I had the impression that the lot of them were impatiently waiting for the inning to end so that they could do their thing on camera. p.s. I didn't get a cap or t-shirt, either. (Actually, I don't really need another one. :-))

  91. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Oh, and I don't mind the countdown clock.

  92. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    NatsFan1a, thanks for the Chad Cordero quote.He is a class act.

  93. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    it also needs mentioning that the Cardinals have disciplined hitters who understand that Solid contact is what is needed as swinging for the fences usually results in strikeouts and poor swings more often than HRs and Matheny coached a great game. Hats off to Mark McGwire too.

  94. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    You're welcome, Ghost.

  95. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    I should perhaps clarify two things: We were in the second row from the top of the section, and I was trying to see over Clint and his entourage, who were blocking my view.

  96. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    Ghost his pitch selection though I probaby would.mix more fast balls in was not as much as the fact the Cards in the 9th refuse to swing at anything not in the strike zone and Drew keot throwing the slider outside and not inside he might have got to swing.in conclusion his approach didnt work and would not work unless Cards decided to swing at balls.

  97. NatsFanSinceStart - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    As Drew Storen so aptly put it after the game: "We learned a lot about a lot of people."We learned to our chagrin that Gio might be a terminal choker.We learned that Johnson doesn't handle pitching staff well in real game time.We learned that JZimm is a ice blooded BeastWe learned that we need more production out of 2b position.We learned Suzuki may have been the smartest pick up since MorseWe learned that Johnson doesn't trust Mattheus in a hyper critical spot.We learned that we love our Nats and how long the winter is really going to be this year.

  98. NatsFanSinceStart - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Right Ghost. The Nats were defeated by a very, very good team — a hot team. A team that is peaking now with hitters 1-8. We were beaten by a team with a bullpen better than our's and tough starters.It was no disgrace that we lost to the Cards. It's easy to predict (as I had a week ago) that the Cards will repeat as World Series Champs. No insult in that we ran into a hot, hot, good to great team.

  99. NatsFanSinceStart - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    I think Storen all he could. He made good pitches, his velocity was good — the Cards were simply not to be denied.That is a good team!

  100. CoverageisLacking - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    NatsFanSinceStart said…"I think Storen all he could. He made good pitches, his velocity was good — the Cards were simply not to be denied.That is a good team!"October 14, 2012 2:41 PMToo bad no one had the composure to shout at Storen to step off the rubber on the 3-2 to Freese, when Yadi left 1st too soon. Drew could have ended the game without throwing another pitch!

  101. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 14, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    NatsFanSinceStart at 2:41, I think that was Storen's own self-assessment.My thought is Lynn challenged Werth in Thursday in a tie game and the were home team. Risky. Storen had all reason to challenge Molina instead of nibbling. Molina could not beat him.

  102. Bzl. - Oct 14, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    I haven't posted since before the Thursday game.Points:1. The Thursday game was the single most amazing live sporting event I've ever attended.2. The Friday game started out like Thursday, but was tied for the most depressing ending of any sporting event I've ever attended (along with Georgia Tech at UVa in 1990… the one and only week UVa had a #1 ranked college football team). It was still an amazing game, and I'm glad to have been there and seen the end to this amazing, amazing year.3. John Feinstein is a hack when writing about baseball. I can't say I'm madder than his first clueless Strasburg article, because I knew before beginning to read today's article, that he'd already proven himself to be a fool.4. I love this site, even if I don't post a ton, and even if it means reading through the Legion of Doom comments.What a great year! Sure, we'll be back to the playoffs, and will have better teams in the future.Looking at the remaining competition, I can't help but think we were 1 strike away from being the champions, though.Can't wait until next April. Thanks Nats!

  103. NCNatsie - Oct 14, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Okay, I'm back. Crawled out of my hole this morning and said, "This is stupid. It's just a game. Find something else to amuse yourself with. You used to be a Red Sox fan. Remember '86? You got over that! You can get over this.So I tuned in the NFL games. I used to like football games. Now it just seems stupid, and so here I am back at my addiction, posting for my virtual baseball friends. I don't yet have any criticisms or suggestions for next year. I think that's a different stage of grief. Perhaps it will come. Anyway, thanks to all of you for all you do. And Waddu, maybe we'll find a way to play the song for them yet.

  104. baseballswami - Oct 14, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Heard a couple of things regarding other teams that I think are relevant. 1). You pitch strikes to get ahead in the count and you pitch balls to get the out. Drew did that – those pitches were close – didn't get the calls, disciplined hitters don't swing. He was not all over the place,( like gio was). The Cards can just flat out hit. That ground ball is what I keep seeing in my nightmares. BABIP suckage. 2) In the playoffs you play for one run. Big discussion on mlb about how the YANKEE hitters needed to move runners over into scoring position. Also mentioned was that they were swinging for the fences too much. After two strikes they needed to shorten up their swings and make contact.Sound relevant? I am getting the distinct message that you ARE supposed to manage somewhat differently in the playoffs due to the short series and the immediacy. I also was offended by the piece by "he who shall not be named" in the post. But, my biggest take away from the other articles is this — the way this team reacted to Drew shows you what kind of PEOPLE they are. They sounded like kind, caring and compassionate TEAM-mates who all realized that the blame falls on everyone on the team, not just one guy. By all rights they shouldn't have been there at all , but they were because they are a team. The initial question of can they get back? I think they can be playing relevant games in September for a long time, I think they will make the post season frequently, I think at some point they will go all the way. There is always some luck and randomness involved the deeper it goes. This team has the goods, though – just depends on whether or not you are one of those people who sees it as winning the world series or nothing. I think being in the conversation every year means you have a good organization. Sometimes you hit the lotto, everything goes your way and you get deep, maybe win. No guarantees about going all the way, but we should get to October a lot.

  105. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    It won't take much to ensure a second October appearance … that's the good news but as MicheleS points out it could be expensive. But, a trade for a top lefty like David Price, or even Jaime Garcia, to go with Gio and Detwiler … plus the acquisition of some left-handed bullpen help … Yes, Henry will be back. Count on it. So, I deem the right-handed side covered. Have to assume the tender Gorzelanny again … who else is there if they lose Burnett? Lannan and his sub 90's fastball is not a good choice for any bullpen, he seems the most likely to either be non-tendered or tendered and traded in a package to acquire the above starter.The third area also involves "the sinister side", (the teachers out there will appreciate the use of that word in this context,) or left-handedness. Left handed power.Again, its the same issue they've broached with Burnett. Burnett will be in high demand, as will Adam LaRoche given his stats and the leadership he displayed with this team. (Have to note that Prince Fielder got further in the playoffs … apparently he was the right move for the Tigers … ) It is possible that LaRoche would be valued at a level just below a Fielder. The Nats could conceivably lose both …But the Nats have the propensity for finding young, controllable talent that they can plug right into the equation. And the Nats do have some pretty decent playoff / best record in baseball tested assets in Stephen Lombardozzi, Danny Espinosa, Tyler Moore, Michael Morse, Roger Bernadina … in addition there's Corey Brown, Anthony Rendon, Brian Goodiwn, Matt Skole, plus catchers Jesus Flores, Jhonatan Solano, Sandy Leon … plus Corey Brown, Zach Walters, Jeff Kobernus, Rick Hague, Destin Hood … Kevin Keyes and Steven Souza are also possibilities as is Jason Martinson. On the pitching side there is plenty of right-handed relief at the major league level in Storen, Clippard, Mattheus, H-Rod, Stammen and Stammen is also a possible starter. All are possible trade candidates depending on the package involved.Starting pitching features lots of right handed talent, a re-converted Christian Garcia, Nate Karns, Ryan Perry, Alex Meyer, plus lefty Danny Rosenbaum. The guess here is that they will tend more toward keeping the rarer "sinister" element such as "the Shark, Corey Brown, Matt Skole, Danny Rosenbaum, etc. but you never know it always depend on what they are getting back and whether they feel they have possible replacements in the wings. Next June will bring an interesting draft for the now successful Nationals. Limited bonus money … plus drafting close to the end … this is certainly a huge concern for a team with the National's base and philosophy.

  106. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Sheesh all of these ex-BoSox, Orioles, Mets, and Yankees fans ???Personally I would be more all-in for the Cubby fans who are models of humility having been humiliated for as long as they have. If they get a chance to compete and the Nats are out of it I'd be there with those guys for sure.

  107. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    My thought is Lynn challenged Werth in Thursday in a tie game and the were home team. Risky. Storen had all reason to challenge Molina instead of nibbling. Molina could not beat him.My observations of Storen may be a tad different. Last season I watched him push his fastball over 98 mph. Basically he and H-Rod stood alone in that bullpen. I did not see that this season. There was also a drop in Clippard's velocity which Ghost and Wonk put together stats on as I recall. Then there's Zimmermann's performance in relief proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was going to completely recover from TJ and perhaps be even better when he uncorked more than one 97 plus mph fastball and 91 mph sliders … that's Stras, H-Rod, and last season Storen stuff. Its unbeatable when the pitcher has control which JZim did. If JZimm and do that consistently in his starts with this team he is a 20 game winner next season. And the Cardinals pulled up relievers who where throwing 97 mph plus at the Nats to keep them from scoring much beyond the fifth in the final game!So, even the casual observer can see why there the interest in H-Rod continues to be strong on the part of the FO. You want to know what the Nats need? Its more of the above in the bullpen and starting if possible.

  108. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    There was also a drop in Clippard's velocity which Ghost and Wonk put together stats on as I recall. Also the NatsGM site did a very good piece on this … maybe he will do the same for Storen? It might go a long way toward answering questions about the end of this season and what might be on the horizon next season.

  109. JayB - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… I'm watching that guy getting ready to jump out of that balloon that's at almost 128,000 feet up.Hey NJack….when you are done with that and ready…I am still waiting to hear your defense of Davey's Managing Friday Night….you said you would respond at some point…Be honest, if you can. I think should be able to shed some objective light on the questions…..Was that a good job Friday Night….why Danny E and his lost approach instead of Lombo…why EJax who always has trouble in his first inning…why not Ryan M…why not walk Pete K to get to Mott….why not pull Drew, or at least go out yourself and talk him off the ledge….if ever it was time to do something different that was the time….can you be honest or are you just keeping to the Davey fan club line?

  110. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    I think there are things we don't know. I remember that Bryce had strep throat and Stammen had a fever of 100+ last week. Could that have contributed to his hitting guys? Maybe Mattheus and Garcia were sick, maybe dizzy. Could it be that when Mattheus was warming Lett told Davey or McCatty that it was a no go? This is the sort of thing the players would know but that they would never make public.

  111. Taino in DC - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    I hope Rizzo and the owners read this article and see why they need to go all out and fill the holes for 2013.http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/dollars/post/_/id/2009/nats-lose-millions-by-missing-world-series

  112. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    I do think they should have picked off I think it was Molina–that was just lack of alertness. The Cards would have felt very foolish.

  113. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Taino, I thought that immediately. Even the NLCS is big money. Five games of the NLDS is probably several million when you add in concessions and sales of gear.

  114. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    There was a study done on how much you should pay a player for WAR when a difference of a game or two could put you in the playoffs.

  115. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    My final thoughts.Some say both hitters and pitchers were responible for the lost. I say that is false in playoff games.Pitching is what wins and loses playoff games. In our wins pitchers gave up 3 runs. In losses they gave up 29. In other words we needed 13 in the second game 9 in the third and 10 in the fifth. Tell me how that is the hitter's fault.Game 2 we scored 4. In the 15 other games in the orher 3 series 4 runs would win all but 2 games.Only 1 pitcher performed as well or better than the regular season. Detwiler was great.Of the 10 playoff teams we had best ERA easily and post season no ther team gave up half what we did.Drew was the final problem but most were far inferior to regular season.End of story now on to spring training.

  116. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    But, you know, Baltimore could have won their series also, if their closer had held serve.

  117. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Manassas, that is what makes me think something was going on, something besides "nerves."

  118. Section 109 DC - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    JaneB, thanks so much for posting the Schieffer poem (12:20). On the other hand, I can't fathom why the normally intelligent Post wasted column inches on the Feinstein piece.

  119. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    HRod if he had control would be great but so inconsistent.Cards bullpen pitched the way I wished we did fast.

  120. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    if ever it was time to do something different that was the time….can you be honest or are you just keeping to the Davey fan club line?JayB I suppose you prefer Riggleman? You're favorite managing philosophy?Yes it definitely is a question as to what happened and whether Davey was on top of things in that game. Let's face it JayB as Davey's wife stated, this is a short-term gig … he's not in it to hold the job for as long as possible like Giggleman. So much so that it affected Riggs managing decisions adversely. If he decides to retire after two of the best years in the history of the Nationals/Expos franchise. Who do you JayB replace him with? Who is better? And don't try to "project" how someone could jump in there and create an 18 game improvement when they have never accomplished that.

  121. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    It's hard to judge Knorr. I haven't heard him say anything in interviews that impressed me one way or the other.

  122. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    This is the sort of thing the players would know but that they would never make public.Davey tends to be pretty open about such things Natslady if Doug Harris and Mike Rizzo are the exact opposite. I suggest that Mark/Kilgore/Wagner/Comack etc. try to catch up with Davey to get the whole story if he's willing to talk about game 5. That's about all we can hope for at this point. Hopefully, it will shed enough light on things to satisfy everyone …

  123. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    If davey retires bring in NatsJack or Big Cat

  124. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    It could be that Davey left Gio in to qualify for the win. But it could also be that he knew it would be a struggle to get 5 innings out of the bullpen.

  125. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    peric, yes, Davey is more open than some managers, and he's gotten bit by it. I would not doubt that Rizzo has told him to be a little more careful after the Hot Stuff incident. I got the impression Stras was really miffed by that.

  126. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    It's hard to judge Knorr. I haven't heard him say anything in interviews that impressed me one way or the other.81 games to 98 + 2 games. That's 181 games in two years. In the majors. From 3 pathetic 59-60+ wins seasons in a row. Do you actually believe Randy Knorr capable of that … even with the talent they have?

  127. Joe Seamhead - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Well, The dog in me, (or is it the that is me?) wants to know if Kristina Akra is going to be back next year. If we must have a sideline reporter, she's tough to beat.

  128. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Also, if a bunch of guys were down with the flu and Davey said that it would sound like he was making excuses or putting it on the players as not tough enough. We might find out the full story in a few months, or when someone writes their memoir.

  129. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    to be a little more careful after the Hot Stuff incident. I got the impression Stras was really miffed by that..Oh, what a reminder. That was friggin' hilarious!!! Shows that Davey is a very shrewd manager of people … great way to endear the team to its fans IMO. Loved it. I know it embarrassed Stras but he did need to loosen up some and I think that happened over the span of the season …

  130. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    peric–no. But he doesn't need to. If Rizzo can shore up a few holes, the team will have the talent to win 90-95 again. And Knorr will have spent time observing the best manager in the game. I just hope Knorr is smart and not just a "baseball guy." That is, if Davey retires and if Knorr is the heir apparent.

  131. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    I just hope Knorr is smart and not just a "baseball guy." That is, if Davey retires and if Knorr is the heir apparent.Knorr is an ex-catcher so we have to assume he will know how to handle pitchers … its the position players … its hard to judge … he'll need a very strong bench coach … someone like IRod or DeRosa would be perfect.

  132. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    JoeS.. yup you are a dog, and Mrs Seamhead is probably reading this, so I have not doubt she will get even with you. But that being said, I am fine with Kristina. I just hope they bring FP and Carp back. i know that they both get crap for being homers but they are our homers so that is fine. I know Carp's contract is up and not sure about FP.It also helps that FP encourages fan interaction.The best is that Charlie and Dave will be back. I hope Charlie gets the HOF vote this off season.

  133. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    I think if Davey is healthy he will want to finish the job and retire at the top like LaRussa. His health is a key question. I can't imagine Texas letting loose of Pudge, but DeRosa would be good–especially him being a position player and not a bad hitter in his day.

  134. Nattering Nat - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Glad to see I'm far form the only one who is not over this yet. I'm with the posters from 7:45 am. I can't watch any of the Yanks-Tigers games without my mind turning back to our game. I don't think I can watch Cards-Giants at all. I/We will get over it, but not until a proper mourning period.It's funny, but all other sports contests, including NFL games today, are just meaningless to me, not interesting. That must be what the intensity of MLB playoff games 4 and 5 in DC did to me. Never experienced any sporting event close to that in my life. I need a respite from baseball for a while. But I'll be back, and so will the Nats, I surely hope, a year older and wiser and stronger. But if baseball is a metaphor for life, at the moment life sucks.

  135. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    The Ravens game was exciting, but I can't get into the Vikings game. I keep checking in on the Detroit game because I really love baseball… I don't know if I'll be able to watch tonight, it's still pretty raw. I was on the Rock Creek parkway at just about the time I would be heading to the park, and instead I want into Virginia to my gym…

  136. Nattering Nat - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    I should add that I expect Davey to be back, as I can't imagine he wants to end his managerial career that way. Plus, he gets a full Strasburg next year, plus a more seasoned Harper, etc. So I think he does one more year, hoping it ends with a WS win as the capstone.

  137. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Nattering, it was very intense, especially being there in person. And you have to figure it's 1000% more for the players. Need decompression time. Someone said Stras is going hunting with Tyler Moore. That will slow down the pace.

  138. baseballswami - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Random thoughts from the day. Lots of the players have been tweeting that they are cleaning out their lockers, traveling , or home. Makes me sad — but they are all thanking the fans for their support. Best tweet was from Drew's mom with a link to something that could have been useful – 10 ways to deal with the internet's biggest morons. Cheering for Detroit today and tired, already,of hearing about a player that got injured last night in the 12th inning. Apparently Yankee Stadium is only about 80 percent full today? What the heck is up with them? So – I know I must have missed this when we had other things to talk about – who do we have in the AFL and will there be any games on tv? Re: Randy Knorr – I believe he was the first nats manager to take a team to the championships and many of these guys were on that team. I would have to look it up but I think Ross pitched a final game to clinch a championship.Knorr has risen very quickly in the organization and the people that run the Nats are no dummies. Was that success in the majors? no, but I keep hearing that you need to learn how to win. I have also been hearing that one of the reasons he is there is because he knows the home grown guys and their games so well and they listen to him and respect him. He is a pretty simple guy,but really smart. I remember him from potomac. Nobody is ever going to be Davey but at some point someone else will manage the team. Matheny had no experience and is doing quite well.After LaRussa. Pretty impressive guy.

  139. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Big Cat will have a great coaching staff.

  140. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    My feeling exactly on Davey. He'll be back if his health can stand it.

  141. Nattering Nat - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    I was there all three games. In the ninth, I was muttering "This is too good to be true, too good to be true" to ward off the demons. BUt it wasn't enough. The 20-something next to me was slumped over in his seat for maybe 30 seconds when the winning runs scored, that's the image seared in my mind. Can't believe the game has had such an impact on us otherwise rational folks. Or maybe not rational, who knows. But it brought DC together, strangers talking to strangers, in a way I haven't seen in decades. Just wanted it to last through one more series, that's all… Hope the intense loyalty carries over, not disillusioning to newer fans.

  142. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    Yes, looks like lots of empty seats in NY–whole sections. Maybe they are at the concession stands, or maybe they had groups who didn't show. But I assume the weather is nice there as it is here.

  143. baseballswami - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    I like the idea of a day where everyone is encouraged to wear their nats gear. Someone suggested it earlier.

  144. baseballswami - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    NatsLady – the chattering heads are all tsk-tsking about it so I assume it's just an epidemic of apathy.

  145. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    The game was there. We depended on Cards swinging at balls and they didnt

  146. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    In Case you got that email. Not the Nat's fault. Email came from MLB. Bog has a quick article on WaPo, but here is apology from MLB."It was a stunningly stupid error on our part and we apologize to the Nationals and their great fans,” Bob Bowman, the president and CEO of MLB Advanced Media, said in a statement.

  147. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    I have watched the 9th plenty and the wkrse part was Molina struckout 2 ways. The ball was in the strike zone called a ball and the bat crossed the plate.

  148. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Wow Manassas, you are a glutton for punishment. Hat's off to you, but I don't plan on watching that ever again. (especially since I know everytime I turn on MLB Network or ESPN they will show it)

  149. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Anyone know when the Nats are going to have the Winter Convention ( I mean they HAVE to HAVE one this year).

  150. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    I hope we never get that apathetic. Maybe it was better not to win the WS the first chance we got. Gives us something to fight for, something to have a chip on our shoulder for!

  151. Nattering Nat - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    I watched my DVR of the first and third innings, to relive that excitement, then deleted the DVR, so that those would be the last images of the game I'd ever see. I'm with those who say you have to earn the third out, it's very hard to get a called third strike on a borderline pitch or a borderline checked swing. That's one of the few times I'm with the umpires, I get it, that last out needs to be decisive. I hope that's a lesson Storen takes for next year, no nibbling. If they are going to beat you, at least make them ALL hit it. Fact is, even with the Cards comeback (which wasn't unlike many leads the Nats had almost but not quite given up during the season), the game was there for the taking–or so it seemed. But that's enough, more than enough, backward-looking stuff. I tweeted Drew the old saw, "whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger." Hope that proves true.

  152. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    A comment on Mark's article:Texas – only has adequate pitching and are getting a older. Tough decisions on the position players. They do have the minors stocked with talent at the position, not sure about Pitching.Rays- Always will have a good young core. Problem is they can't support keeping them. That's why they will be sporadic playoff contenders, but will always be in the mix.Phillies – Those winning teams were built by Pat Gillick. Amaro is running them now and running them into the ground. Tick Tock.Rockies? Hello run by idiots. 4 Man rotation? 75 pitch limit? Tulo was hurt most of the year. Plus Playing in CO air? Nope, no comparison to our NatsBraves- well run, will always have good pitching, Not to sure about the hitting though or the position players. I mean Uggla? Who replaces chipper? They would have had a few more championships if they had a Closer. Cards- well run, develops talent from within, picks up key FA's when they can. Question, will the Matt Holliday signing be an albatros in a few years? Can they keep their starters healthy? Carpenter is getting up there in age. Cards will always be in the Mix.And that is the way I see the Nats. Will develop from within, pick up the FA's when needed. We have the pitching and now after this year, the experience.

  153. Taino in DC - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    As Nats fan the biggest lesson from this playoff for me is that , the playoff can be very expensive for the ,regular fans. Went to all 3 games , was thinking , this is the last game I can afford if we move to the next series. Playoff baseball is fun , but when you got a horse in the race , is a different animal , the high , lows and the anticipation for every game and every pitch is amazing . I want more!!!!!

  154. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    . ,i watched the first and third too. Had Cards lost their fans would want to know why Matheney allowed Weinwright stay in so long.Just like I wondered why Storen was still in there.

  155. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Taino, that is true. I am going to start saving now. I would be in a deep, deep hole if we had gone to the WS.

  156. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Koroda is pitching a gem on 3 days rest. But he is tired, gave up a double and is 0-3. Girardi should take him out.

  157. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Sorry, he was 0-2, but he is missing his pitches. Cabrera is fouling them off.

  158. Nattering Nat - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    OMG, just turned on the Redskins game, and Dick Stockton doing the play-by-play. I've seen enough of him, thank you, thought he was Cards-biased a little, not a lot, but enough. And of course he had to mention Nats fans were despondent, within a minute of my turning the game on.So, off it went, even with the Skins winning. They're not the Nats, I don't care at the moment. SIgning off….

  159. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    So Cabrera singles. He is a good hitter, man.

  160. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Just read John "Hey, did you know they play baseball with nine men on a side?" Feinstine. What a crock! Now this guy is a baseball expert. After, what, seven innings?What we were supposed to do? Start Stras in Games 1 and 4 and then have him come in the ninth of Game 5 to bail out Storen?The guy Stras would have bumped from the postseason would have been Det — who gave us the only quality start of the postseason.Feinstine is to journalism what ambulance chasers are to the law profession. Just racing over to the latest car wreck to cash a few more checks. He'll probably squeeze a cheap book out of that ninth inning. I'll even volunteer the title: "An Inning on the Brink: How Mike Rizzo cost the Nats the title."Complete and utter blowhard.

  161. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Girardi should take him out. Runs are hard to come by in this game. Sheesh, Fielder swung at ball 2.

  162. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Sheesh, Fielder swung again at a ball in the dirt. Nothing in the zone.

  163. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    I'm going to force myself to watch the second half of the Skins game. (Insert huge yawn here).I've lived her 44 years and have never be able to get into the Skins. Maybe it's the nickname, maybe the owner, maybe the moronic fans, maybe all the above.And I would be just leaving for the park now…(Insert huge sigh here).Like a lot of you, I am recovering, but I am not anywhere close to being there yet.I think I'll hang my red "Natitude" towel up in the garage so I see it every day.Drew's mom is the best.

  164. Manassas Nats' Fan - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Storen was banking on Molina to swing like Fiwlder did, but that backfired

  165. baseballswami - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    At this point, with the Nats out, I am in the "anyone BUT the Yankees camp". I guess we should pull for the NL, the Cards did beat us fair and square. I just have this nagging voice in my head telling me we could have beat the Giants. I need to let this go.

  166. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Such a warm evening. 71 degrees. Too warm for football–perfect for a baseball game… Oh, well.

  167. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    We could have beat the Giants. We did beat the Giants, quite soundly. That doesn't mean they can't beat the Cards. It's not transitive.

  168. baseballswami - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    Nattering Nat – I am so glad you tweeted that to Drew. Sounds like his teammates were truly stand up guys to him.Plenty of other guys that did not pull their weight all series. Maybe this bonds them even more. Shared responsibility, a painful experience and resolve. They stayed a true team when times were as tough as they get. It's easy to be a team when things are easy.

  169. DJB - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    They better make it back next year, or Rizzo will be looking for a new job. After all, wasn't that the justification for why the Nats shouldn't risk playing Stras. They will first need to shore up the bullpen with a more experienced closer. Storen is probably done. As is Burnett. And Jackson. And Espinosa. Wow, we may not be as good as we thought. Good luck there, Rizzo.

  170. DJB - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Also, didn't we draft Storen? And Trout was available. Who drafts closers? Don't you need to see how they handle pressure, first.

  171. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    So Storen folded under pressure on Friday but he didn't fold on Thursday? Interesting.

  172. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Ah…the second rate troll…and even reference them selves as "we" as if they've every been affiliated with winning.

  173. baseballswami - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Storen, done? That's too funny. The kid is going to be nails for us in the future. So why is the american league suddenly playing national league baseball?

  174. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Terrible call. Infante was OUT. They have to take Kuroda out now. And, they do.

  175. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Not only is Storen not done, if the fans have any sense they should give him a standing ovation on opening day. I will.

  176. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Bad call cost the Yanks a run.

  177. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    NatsJack.. I think troll is too nice of a word. Just refer to them as Phoolie Fans. I honestly think that is what some of them are. Just Phoolie fans realizing TICK TOCk is upon them.

  178. NatsFanSinceStart - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Time to look forward; our run is over.126 days? I can do this!! can't wait to read about the trades we make, even the rumors of trades that might be made.Redskins? Are they still in this town?maybe I'll watch a little Wizards, and some Caps — but the only thing that counts for me is the COUNTDOWN

  179. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    I'm finding the Yanks-Detroit game somewhat therapeutic. Don't know if I will be able to watch the game tonight. But baseball is baseball and it puts some distance between Friday and today. Girardi tossed.

  180. NatsFanSinceStart - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    ?? Are there posters here who think Storen is done? Ludicrous. Storen was and still is awesome. He got roughed up at the wrong time, true — but it's baseball, shite happens. But Storen will never not be a great pitcher for at least another decade.Jackson? Well, that's another story. Strictly by the numbers, I believe Lannan is better. The Pitcher I'm sincerely worried about it Gio. I love Gio. But his playoff performances were freaky. I wonder if Billy Beane was watching and whispering to himself "I told you so." Really, Gio's high pressure meltdowns are truly concerning.

  181. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Man…Yankees already down a game and in another dog fight and still will have to probably beat Verlander at least once, if not twice.

  182. MicheleS - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Good to see the Yankee's get hosed by the Umpires. Karma finally biting them in the butt. Plus they can't hit

  183. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Fielder is swinging at garbage again.

  184. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    But he walks. A shame Kuroda pitched a great game. Girardi left him in too long, though it wouldn't have hurt except for the bad call.

  185. baseballswami - Oct 14, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    You just wait until this game is over – the Yanks lose and there will be an A plus, number one whining festival going on. Their saint is hurt, the umps are against them – boo, frickin, hoo. I know Fielder is good and all, but I am happy with the team we ended up with. I will probably watch the game later. All day I kept feeling like I needed to arrange the stuff I had to do around when the game would be on. What a void. It'll probably be hard to watch tonight at first – should be us, but at least I will be able to breathe and go to sleep whenever I want to. I'd rather be watching my team, but such is life.

  186. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    I will watch on mute, and hopefully by the 3rd inning they will quit talking about Game 5 of the NLDS.

  187. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    They are booing Cano. I don't think the fans booed Danny.

  188. baseballswami - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Can o's numbers are worse than Danny's???? Still- fans turn on him. Well, some of our "fans " turned on Drew pretty quickly. I am going to hate it if we become like Philly/Ny fans.

  189. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    holy s***, I forgot Verlander has not pitched in this series yet. I don't want to jinx Tigers, but if they drop this one too, it might be over for Ichiro and Yanks.

  190. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    True that, Swami. How can you ever boo someone who is giving their 100%? Hope we never do that.

  191. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Yes, Cano's numbers are worse than Danny's–in the postseason. Cano is 0 for 25. That has never happened.

  192. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    Sorry, I stand correct, Cano is 0-24.

  193. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Where I am right now is, I haven't watched any of the ALCS series. I'm taping the NLCS and may watch the game later, particularly if STL loses.I can't watch any of the Yanks-Tigers games without my mind turning back to our game. I don't think I can watch Cards-Giants at all. I/We will get over it, but not until a proper mourning period.

  194. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Wow, other than Valverde, the Yanks have not gotten a run in two games.

  195. natsfan1a - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Ditto.MicheleS said… Wow Manassas, you are a glutton for punishment. Hat's off to you, but I don't plan on watching that ever again. (especially since I know everytime I turn on MLB Network or ESPN they will show it)

  196. baseballswami - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    Wow. The Yankees. Empty seats, booing their guys. This could be their last home game. Wow. I agree, Faraz, I will only boo a lack of effort. Not once this season have I ever seen a lack of effort from a Nat. They seem to err on the side of trying too hard.

  197. NatsLady - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    Robinson Cano finished 0-for-4 and has now gone hitless in 26 straight at-bats. That’s an all-time postseason record.

  198. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    They better make it back next year, or Rizzo will be looking for a new job. After all, wasn't that the justification for why the Nats shouldn't risk playing Stras. I'd like to know who you are so that I can tell your boss that you are probably the biggest idiot in the DC area. Bar none. You must be a bigger idiot than Vinnie that's for damned sure.

  199. peric - Oct 14, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Also, didn't we draft Storen? And Trout was available. Who drafts closers? Don't you need to see how they handle pressure, first.And Stan and ownership blocked Rizzo from trading Dunn for left-handed top prospect starter Matt Moore … which would have been even better. You are still an idiot because you still don't know what you are talking about … time to go back to the Charm City blogs.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 47 --
ATLANTA 58 49 1.0
MIAMI 53 54 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 61 12.5
Through Wednesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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