Might as well watch Bryce Harper's game-tying home run from Game 4 splash down in McCovey Cove one more time. Not that it mattered, but for a few minutes there, it felt like the series was turning. It wasn't meant to be.
(Screencaps via MLB.com video)
Here lies the body of the 2014 Washington Nationals. NL East Champs. Best record in the NL. Bounced from the playoffs in the NLDS again. It should've been different.
The good news is: there's always next year. How many days until pitchers and catchers report?
(See also our 2013, 2011, and 2010 Nationals gravestones)
When the going got tough, Matt Williams stuck with his regular season script.
Why Thornton and Barrett in the 7th?
"Because those are our 7th inning guys."
The good news is: Strasburg, Storen, Clippard, and Stammen will be well rested for Spring Training.
Video of Matt Williams' NLDS Game 4 postgame presser below. Let the second-guessing continue. Heck of a season...
Joe Panik scored the winning run after Aaron Barrett's wild pitch with the bases loaded in the 7th.
Giants 3, Nationals 2: Stand pat Matt and the punchless Nats punch their ticket to the offseason. Silver lining: no soul crushing Game 5 loss this year.
Plenty of heaping slices of blame pie to go around. But this sort of sums up the series:
When a graphic is worth a...
#Nats good luck charm, back for Game 4: pic.twitter.com/B7WJZ76hHG
— Tom Schad (@Tom_Schad) October 7, 2014
Remember that lucky Maneki-neko that appeared in the Nats dugout before NLDS Game 3? It's back, apparently ready to pick up the phone in case Stephen Strasburg needs to be called in from the bullpen to relieve Gio. Whatever works.
(Image via Washington Times' @Tom_Schad)
Bryce Harper battled with the SF Sun Monster during NLDS Game 3, and won. Video both of Harper's Sun Monster catches (in the 2nd and 7th) above.
Here's Harper on his catch in the 7th, and his battle with the Sun Monster (via this MLB Network interview):
"Oh man, it was unbelievable. Having that sun up there, it's a little sun monster, that's what we call it out in DC...
And so, Doug Fister and Bryce Harper were brilliant and spectacular in no particular order for NLDS Game 3 Monday night in SF. So they get a pass for their clashing fashion statements during their postgame presser.
Nats have a pulse.
(Screencap via MLBNetwork/TV)
So Bryce Harper destroyed a baseball in the 9th inning of NLDS Game 3, just a few feet shy of landing in McCovey Cove.
Meanwhile, the Nats are still alive.
Here's Jean Machi tracking Harper's blast:
...and here's where it landed:
(Screencaps via MLB.com/MLB Network video)
Nationals 4, Giants 1: Not dead yet. They have a pulse.
Nats live to fight another day: NLDS Game 4 Tuesday. Can't Doug Fister just pitch again?
Still can't believe a Wilson Ramos sac bunt opened the floodgates in the 7th (video). The Buffalo. Think about that.
(Screencap via MLB.com video)
Desperate times call for...a Maneki-neko? Hey, whatever works.
(Image of a Maneki-neko in the Nats dugout prior to NLDS Game 3 courtesy of the great @AdamKilgoreWP)
And here's video of Matt Williams speaking with reporters in SF on Sunday, mere hours after Saturday night/Sunday morning's soul-crushing loss. Moving on seems to be the theme of the day. No point in second guessing the Zimmermann/Storen decision any longer, we'll have all Winter for that:
"You have to move on...We must move on to the next one. It will do us no good to...
Yay! The only good thing to happen in the 18th inning of NLDS Game 2? That would be home plate umpire Vic Carapazza getting hit on the head by a foul ball off the bat of Danny Espinosa that ricocheted off the screen.
Carapazza didn't exactly cover himself in glory last night with his strikezone (which was awful for both teams), but specifically on Jordan Zimmermann's 1-0...
Giants 2, Nationals 1 (18 innings): Historically bad. There are no words, really.
(Screencap above via MLB.com/FS1 video inspired by @kevinreiss)
Oh hey, it's Alex Ovechkin showing off his #Natitude and Backing the Nats, etc. at NLDS Game 2!
Lets go Washington Nationals!!!!
View on Instagram
Lets go Washington Nationals!!!! http://t.co/PyivWPEH51
— Alex Ovechkin (@ovi8) October 4, 2014
So the Rally Pigeon inspired the Nats to a comeback series win over the Giants back in August; so it seems only fitting to see a Nationals fan in a custom Rally Pigeon hat at NLDS Game 2 Saturday night with the Nats trailing the series 1-0.
Hope it works...
(Photo by @ckstevenson)
Up above, Matt Williams talks to the press after dropping Game 1 of the NLDS to the Giants in Stephen Strasburg's postseason debut.
"I think Stras was good. He gave us a chance. Jake was a little better...I think Stras pitched fine. I think he was good."
But that's not good enough for Washington Post's Thom Loverro, who didn't think "fine" was good enough (via Washington...
Up above, video of Joe Panik's 7th inning triple that Denard Span surprisingly missed despite a perfectly timed leap at the wall -- Span makes that catch 999 out of 1000 times.
Meanwhile, if the Washington Post's resident Bryce Harper hater Thomas Boswell is to be believed, Bryce Harper's lack of hustle on the play is to blame for Panik ending up on third base. Panik scored...
So Bryce Harper destroyed a baseball for a home run in the 7th inning of NLDS Game 1 tonight; unfortunately the Nats could've used a couple more of 'em in the end, dropping a 3-2 heardbraker.
Here's where that poor little baseball landed after orbit. Up there in the 3rd deck, supposedly 445 ft. later:
Bryce Harper's 7th-inning HR traveled 445', longest of his career...
NLDS Game 1 just a matter of hours away, and who knows what this October holds?
Up above, Nats banners on 14th St. NW outside the Reagan Building on Thursday.
#Nats #NLDS G1: Span CF, Rendon 3B, Werth RF, LaRoche 1B, Desmond SS, Harper LF, Ramos C, Cabrera 2B, Strasburg P pic.twitter.com/1NvHC7Cefi
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) October 3, 2014
And so, it'll be Nats-Giants on Friday afternoon at 3:07: Stephen Strasburg vs. Jake Peavy?
(Screencap via MLB.com video)
What better way to commemorate Jordan Zimmermann's no-hitter on Sunday than with a bunch of videos taken by fans in the stands? Up above, our personal favorite, because the guy holding the camera ABSOLUTELY LOSES HIS BLEEPING MIND. It's the greatest.
Next, the amazing video of Souza's catch by Jonny Rasch, via everywhere. And so on, videos and videos and videos:
Jordan Zimmermann got the full treatment from his teammates during his postgame interview on the field with MASN's Dan Kolko after his no hitter on Sunday: double Gatorade bath, two bubblegum showers, shaving cream pie in the face from Jayson Werth. Here's the CliffNotes version in a single Vine, (via @RecordsAndRadio):
(Screencap via MLB.com/MASN video)
Jordan Zimmermann throws first Nats no-hitter
Ho-hum, pretty nice little tuneup for the postseason. And here's Stephen Souza Jr.'s no-no saving catch to seal the deal:
Bring on October.
(Screencap via MLB.com/MASN video)
"It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish." (Gio Gonzalez, via Washington Post, 9/26/2014)
Up above, highlights of Gio Gonzalez's brilliant, 7 inning, 12 K, 1 hit, performance last night, helping the Nats earn a doubleheader split with the Mets.
Pretty nice audition for one of the playoff rotation spots: so Roark is the odd man out, right?
Ryan Zimmerman was all smiles in the dugout in Miami Friday night.
And so, Ryan Zimmerman has returned from his 55-game absence with a bad hammy and is back in the Nationals lineup tonight in Miami. Zim will bat sixth tonight and play left field in place of Bryce Harper.
Zim: "I won't be 100% til next year, but I'm good enough to contribute." Expects to start most, not...