At about 12:19 this morning, the Washington Nationals were eliminated from the 2012 playoffs of Major League baseball. They lost Game 5 of their National League Division Series to the St. Louis Cardinals, 9-7, imploding by 4 runs in the ninth inning. In front of 45,966 fans —a record for Washington, D.C. baseball, a season's magical ride had crashed.
Although winning 100 games, more than any other team this year, the Nationals seemed 'streaky' at times: the pitching was hot, the hitting not, and, then, vice-versa. The team would always snap back and win with a vengeance. But, in the playoffs, it's sudden-death: you need all vengeance. Notwithstanding, this season was indeed a magical ride. Great playing, great managing. If I were to blame anyone, it was the gentleman who, as the ninth inning began, dared to taunt the baseball gods. "Bring on San Francisco," he shouted. The gods heard, and laughed.
The last time a Washington, D.C. Major League team had been in the playoffs, the year was 1933. The only time a Washington, D.C. Major League team had won the World Series, the year was 1924. This year, this morning, in the wee hours, the beer was cold, and the air, bitter. Eighty-eight years will have to wait till next year.
- For next year, one also hopes that the Nationals management will better support local beer. More about that: here.
- The Baltimore Orioles —our baseball neighbors 45 miles to the north— were eliminated by the New York Yankees in Game 5 of the American League Division Series, 3-1. There will be no Beltway Series this year.
- When there was still hope: here.