clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

RIP the Washington Nationals’ 2017 season: A pre-post-mortem

New, 8 comments

This is either going to be a lot of fun to look back on or be insanely accurate.

MLB: NLDS-Washington Nationals at Chicago Cubs Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Every year (or every other year) — the majority of years since 2012, let’s just say that, the Washington Post puts up this piece explaining what led to a D.C. sports team heavily favored to win blowing it in the playoffs and exiting early. They originally wrote it in 2014, and it’s seemed more and more relevant with every passing year.

However, this year, instead of waiting for that piece, we can try to predict the future.

Quick note: All the quotes and stats here are fake. This game hasn’t happened. Also, the people quoted definitely wouldn’t say this. It’s satirical! And probably what we’ll all be thinking by tomorrow afternoon — but these are not real quotes.

Without any further ado:

Cubs Blank Nationals again (BECAUSE THEY CAN’T HIT) as Yet Another Disappointing Playoff Run Comes to a Close

Despite all the chatter surrounding the rain, Stephen Strasburg and Tanner Roark, it didn’t really matter who was on the hill for Washington on a breezy Wednesday afternoon on the North Side of Chicago.

Roark, who was scheduled to take the hill, then wasn’t, then was again in the span of forty minutes on Tuesday evening, performed as the Nats have seen him perform dozens of times over the past four seasons, locating with exceptional control and only allowing two runs on four hits over six innings.

The Nationals’ bullpen, which most expected to be the problem in the postseason as late as this July, put in another stellar outing, not allowing the Cubs a single run over their three innings of work.

But Sean Doolittle’s glove lay untouched come the bottom of the ninth, for one reason: THE NATIONALS DIDN’T FREAKING HIT.

The pattern of NOT GETTING A DAMN HIT from earlier games in the NLDS continued on, as leadoff man Trea Turner WENT HITLESS FOR THE SERIES, BARELY EVEN MAKING CONTACT AND HURLING HIS BAT AT ANY FLYING OBJECT WITHIN FOURTEEN FEET OF HOME PLATE (a disaster warning was released for pigeons in the local area).

Jayson Werth, despite being moved up to the second spot, was ALSO COMPLETELY USELESS AND DID NOT RECORD A HIT. Bryce Harper walked once, and the rest of the lineup combined for two hits and zero runs in an UNSURPRISING TURN OF EVENTS THAT STILL FOR SOME REASON SURPRISED EVERYONE.

“I really thought today was the day we broke through,” manager Dusty Baker said, despite the OVERWHELMING PILES OF EVIDENCE THAT THE TEAM WAS INCAPABLE OF HITTING AND SOMETHING NEEDED TO CHANGE.

“Sure, I regret not getting to pitch,” Strasburg told the media, as handshakes and hugs were exchanged through the Nats’ clubhouse, a group of men that knew at least quite a few of them — Brandon Kintzler, Jayson Werth, and Howie Kendrick, to name a few — wouldn’t be there next season.

“But I still completely stand by (Dusty’s) decision to throw Tanner. He’s been good for us for a long time. Besides, it’s not his fault that the OFFENSE LITERALLY FORGOT HOW TO HIT.”

And literally forget how to hit the offense did, as the “ENGINE OF THE OFFENSE, AS WE WERE TOLD” only reached base four times, and NOBODY MADE IT PAST SECOND BASE.

“It is what it is,” Bryce Harper said while reaching into his backpack and putting on the Yankees cap he had been holding onto since mid-July after the last bullpen meltdown and was saving for the next one, although he made an exception and put it on after the game.

“Don’t read into this,” Harper said. “Don’t want to be a Yankee necessarily,” he continued, putting on pinstriped pants and an “I HEART THE BRONX” t-shirt.

In the meantime, jubilant cheers leaked from the Cubs’ home clubhouse, as champagne sprayed and Anthony Rizzo received his crown for becoming “King of Clutch Bloop Hits.”

“Boy, were we ever lucky that their OFFENSE LITERALLY DIDN’T FUNDAMENTALLY GRASP THE CONCEPT OF HITTING AND SCORING FOR THOSE FOUR DAYS,” Rizzo screamed to reporters while being carried around the clubhouse on the backs of his teammates.

ESPN and MLB.com put up another Bryzzo advert, the Nats packed their bags, exchanged half-hearted “see you soons” — many players planned to fly straight west from Wrigley to their California and Arizona residences — while others loaded up on the chartered Delta plane for one last awkward ride back to Dulles international.

On the plane, Dusty Baker spoke to the team for one last speech. “Thanks for giving it your all. We came up short, but we won’t next year,” he said.

“Well, that is, if THE OFFENSE DOESN’T TOTALLY AND UTTERLY CHOKE IN OCTOBER LIKE IT DID THIS YEAR, WASTING TWO INCREDIBLE STARTS FROM THE BEST PITCHERS IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE.”

—30—