WASHINGTON — The rest of the country is apparently starting to mourn (revel in?) the D.C. sports sadness that this city has suffered from for years.
Thursday night’s loss was one for the ages, even for D.C. sports standards, but it was evidently enough to awaken the rest of the country to Washington’s (don’t say curse, don’t say curse, don’t say curse) misfortune in the postseason. Across all sports.
And now, onto the stories! (I’m so sorry we’re doing this. What else are we supposed to do today?)
“Thanks to the most hellish blooper reel you will ever see, the Nationals once again blew a lead and came up short of the NLCS. Add it to the impossibly long list of October gut punches for a franchise that can’t seem to avoid them.”
Here’s Max Kellerman of ESPN calling the Nationals “the new Cubs.”
Here’s SportsNation throwing together some polls about D.C. sports sadness.
Here’s ESPN breaking down all the unbelievably unlikely things that happened when Max Scherzer took the mound in the fifth inning.
“Now, it might seem unlikely that all of these events would go Scherzer’s way, as I laid them out. And it is: By my math, there’s only about a 1-in-4 chance that Scherzer would have all of those scenarios — Contreras, Zobrist, Russell, Heyward, Baez, La Stella — turn into outs. Just 1 in 4!
But the chances that they’d all go against him? I get 4.58055e-10. What’s that, .000000000458? I might have missed by a zero. But 1 in 2,183,406,113. Those are the odds that they’d all go against Scherzer.”
Here’s an SB Nation story that takes place inside a tortured D.C. bar:
When Werth’s shot hooks foul, there is no anger. There is just laughter.
Werth strikes out swinging.
At 12:41 a.m. ET, like four-and-a-half hours after this mess started, Harper comes up with two outs in the ninth, down 9-8 with nobody on base. He can hit baseballs so far that this crowd gets a brief revival.
Harper strikes out at 12:45 a.m. ET, after a six-pitch at-bat that’s taken just under a minute per pitch, because D.C. teams don’t die swift, painless deaths.
“Every year,” someone says, and it’s not really an exaggeration.
Within 30 seconds of Harper’s game-ending K, bar tabs start to close with numbing efficiency. It is, after all, very late. Within about two minutes, the woman in the Harper shirt is the last Nationals fan in the building.
“You’re a D.C. sports fan,” she says, “you’re basically just a masochist.”
Here’s SI basically just talking about the “sheer number of distressing losses.”
And finally, here’s SB Nation making a fun case for the Nationals being the most underrated baseball sadness:
“This would all apply if the Nationals were a normal team, the kind that lost quietly and waited until next spring. But the Nationals lose loudly. They’re the most explosive losers in the sport, year after year, and it’s remarkable. They excelled at not getting that one lousy hit in Game 5, just like they’ve excelled in not getting that one lousy hit in Game 5s in the past. The Padres have had five postseason elimination games since 1969. The Nationals have had four in the last six seasons, all coming in the first round, with three of them offering the promise of advancing to the next round.”
These are all just a small, small sampling of the many national outlets breaking this misery down. And make no mistake: This is absolute misery. No, it’s not a curse. It’s just a lot of heartbreak jampacked into one (geographically) small city in a few short decades.
Never forget: Nothing matters.
Have a good weekend!