What was fait accompli in July became reality in late September — the Washington Nationals will not make the 2013 postseason. Last night’s Nats loss to the Cardinals in St. Louis and wins by the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates officially eliminated the Nats from even the play-in game. That makes two seasons in a row the Cardinals ended the Nats postseason hopes, though this year was much less agonizing than last year.
The Nats played below their talent level for much of the season, no more so than in July when they went 11-16. Injuries, a weak bench, a ill-prepared bullpen (no lefties), questionable managing and significant regression defensively combined with poor hitting through the first half to doom the squad. Even with all that, the Nats would not go quietly, raging for over a month in a half:
They reached this point after a desperate six weeks of trying to overcome the sluggish first four-and-a-half months of their season. They were 13-14 after April, 48-47 at the all-star break and 54-60 on Aug. 7. They have been the best team in baseball since, but they found their stride too late. They also faltered against top competition, going 14-29 against the five NL playoff teams.
Werth missed all of May except for two at-bats, and upon his return became one the best players in baseball. Harper began the year on an MVP course, then ran into two fences and either played hurt or not at all the rest of the way.
Nationals vs. Cardinals: Washington eliminated from playoff picture with 4-3 loss – The Post
Surely, some will suggest the Nats “needed” a season like this which is just nonsense. That being said, the team, the next manager and certainly the general manager need to learn from this season. A better bullpen, a better bench and more attention to details like playing defense in the future will hopefully top of mind. That and of course, HITTING which was the biggest problem for most of this season.
World Series of bust has been decided…BUST.
Read this if you can handle it: The Nationals and what could have been – The Post
Chris Needham’s take: What We Learned