Viera, Fla. — After midnight on Oct. 12, Drew Storen sat at his locker in the silent, stunned Washington Nationals clubhouse, the same thought cycling through his head: “This is not good. This is not good.” He asked himself, “What happened?” He stared straight ahead — same as he would after any bad game — until the next thought came. He wanted to change what had happened, but he knew he could not. There was no use thinking about that. He told himself, “I got to move on from this.”
Thursday afternoon, four months later, Storen climbed one of five mounds in a fenced-in bullpen, past a matrix of diamonds at the Nationals’ spring training complex. The first workout of spring training carries with it the notion of renewal, which is something Storen insists is not for him. He does not want pity, either, because he hates the idea that Game 5 made him into a victim, some sob story. He wants the opportunity to face major league hitters again, to run in from the bullpen and fire hellacious sliders and mid-90s fastballs. He does not want condolences. He wants the ball.