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Posted at 09:50 AM ET, 10/14/2012

Washington Nationals: A team loss


Drew Storen in agony. (John McDonnell - THE WASHINGTON POST)
I know it’s late to blog about the loss by the Nats Friday night — make that very early Saturday morning — but it’s taken me this long to stop moaning and uncurl from the fetal position.

Those of you who don’t care about the Nats, or about baseball, should check out the great John McDonnell photo that covered much of our sports front this morning. It’s Drew Storen grieving as he sits in a chair in front of his locker. This is the agony of defeat, folks. He blew the save. He came in with a two-run lead and couldn’t close out the game. Nats lose a heartbreaker one night after Werth’s walkoff homer, the greatest baseball moment in the city since, what, the first FDR term? Mike Wise has a column tracing the end of Storen’s terrible night.

Everyone now is free to second-guess decisions by the manager and the GM. Adam Kilgore covers the bases on that. John Feinstein blames the GM, Mike Rizzo, for shutting down Stephen Strasburg, and says the weak link in all this was Edwin Jackson.

But the truest words may be the ones that Adam Laroche spoke, quoted by Kilgore at the end of his article: “It’s just one of those things.”

Which is to say, it’s baseball, and strange things happen, and the other guys get paid too.

If you get the W everyone thinks you’re a genius.

Another true statement came from Tyler Clippard: It’s a team game. Yes, and this was a team loss. Staked to a 6-run lead, Gio Gonzalez gave half of it back in five innings. Jackson and Clippard each gave up a run.

Storen said, in his agonized post-game comments to the media, “I made good pitches. Can’t really change anything. No regrets.”

Obviously he didn’t get the job done. But I looked at the tape of the 9th inning and I have to agree that he threw pretty good pitches. So maybe he spent too much time nibbling at the edge of the plate, which is maddening to watch, but that’s what pitchers do in that situation. A couple of low strikes were called balls by the ump, but this isn’t an exact science. The Cards were disciplined and did what they had to do in the clutch.

You know they’re the world champions, right?

One other thing worth mentioning: They were the better team in the past month. They killed us repeatedly. And in this series, too, they looked like the better team, crushing the Nats in games 2 and 3. Yeah, I’m shocked, as a fan, by what happened Friday night, and I’m not sure I can stand to watch any more baseball this year. But it wasn’t a fluke loss.

It’s just one of those things.

The Cards won it fair and square.

By  |  09:50 AM ET, 10/14/2012

 
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