Jul 23, 2013, 5:10 AM EDT
|USA Today Sports Images|
This is what it has come to for the Nationals. After falling for the fourth straight game, the ninth time in 11 games, after falling to three games below the .500 mark for the first time in nearly two years, after an emotional day that saw their popular hitting coach fired, they were left citing the positives from their 6-5 loss to the Pirates.
Despite trailing by five runs early, the Nationals rallied to get within a run and were 180 feet from tying the game in the bottom of the ninth. Was it wrong to consider this an encouraging development, given the situation this team is in right now?
“No, not at this point,” Adam LaRoche admitted. “We’re looking for anything positive to take out of a ballgame, and that was a great run late. Tying run in scoring position and one hit away. You can’t expect to drive that run in every time. We don’t give ourselves that many opportunities right there. So it was nice to have.”
Maybe it’s all the Nationals can do, cling to whatever glimmer of hope there is on a given night. There wasn’t much else to be hopeful about on Monday, a day that left manager Davey Johnson weathered and worn down.
NLDS: NATIONALS VS. GIANTS
SAT: Game 2 at Washington, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3 at San Francisco, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4 at San Francisco, TBA (FS1)*
THU: Game 5 at Washington, TBA (FS1)*
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.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Nationals draw Giants in NLDS after Wild Card win
- Braves' hitting coach resigns after trying season
- Game thread: Giants-Pirates battle to face Nats in NLDS
- Former Nats slugger Adam Dunn still plans to retire
- Giants or Pirates: who should Nats prefer to play in NLDS?
- How the '14 Nats are better than the '12 Nats
- Royals beat A's 9-8 in 12 in AL wild-card thriller
- 'Now the fun begins' - Nats enter postseason on a roll
- Game thread: Who will advance in AL Wild Card game?
- Bryce Harper to play showcase in Japan after MLB playoffs