Its the flip side to what I said yesterday. For a team to stare elimination in the face and survive, another team must have success in their grasp only to watch it slip away at the last moment. The Nats went from the survivor to the eliminated in one night.
Go ahead and wallow, swear, pointlessly kick inanimate objects, whatever gets you through the weekend. There will be plenty of time later for reflection. For realizing that the season was a surprise success, and that next season looks bright. There will be months. For now, if you want, Be pissed. Ignore the rest of the playoffs. Whatever.
You can blame a lot of thing for the loss. The dead middle innings. Gio's start. Clippard's inability to hold the game. But other than the obvious Storen flame-out, I still point to Davey's use of Edwin Jackson as the turning point. In what had to be fueled by ZNN's dominating turn yesterday, Davey turned to a starting pitcher, infamous for his bad first innings, and asked him to get 3 outs vs the Cards top of the line-up. Edwin would end up only giving up one run but went through enough batters that the heart of the Cards lineup would be ensured another time up. All other moves were standard, and in fact hard to argue with (other than maybe letting Storen pitch to Kozma). This was Davey stepping outside the usual to do something no one agreed with. It was maddening.
Of course this wasn't just a game. It was a series. And it was a series that featured far more failures than successes. At the plate only Zimm and Desmond had good series. Morse was ok, Werth and Suzuki acceptable. The rest were different levels of bad. Detwiler was great, Clippard, Garcia ok. The rest again just different levels of failure. That is the shocking part. Gio, ZNN, Storen, Burnett, Stammen, Gonzo, E Jax ALL pitching poorly? Only Detwiler pitching good? Never would have expected that, even against a lineup like the Cards.