by Alex Poletti
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Following two statement wins in Houston to take a commanding lead in the Word Series, the National League champions dropped three straight at home and are now on the brink of elimination. Despite following a clear pattern, Nationals fans are somehow still shocked after Washington blew a two-game lead in October.
“I can’t believe this right now,” Nationals fan Ronald Jagler says. “We’ve only blown every two-game playoff lead in franchise history, how is this happening again?”
In game one, the Nats tagged five runs of Cy Young candidate Gerrit Cole en route to a close one-run victory. In game two, Stephen Strasburg pitched a gem against baseball’s fine wine Justin Verlander before the offense blew the top of the game, putting up six runs in the seventh to silence the Houston crowd. The overwhelming underdogs became the favorites, but the Nationals weren’t content with that.
“We’ve had a bit of a Cinderella season,” Washington manager Dave Martinez says. “We started off the season terribly after missing out on the playoffs and losing Bryce Harper. But we turned things around and went on a hell of a run. Still, we were not expected to beat Los Angeles, and Houston had an even better record. When we went up two games, it just didn’t feel right in the context of our season.”
Many thought the playoff curse was Bryce Harper-specific. When the outfielder left for the greener fields of Philadelphia, the Nationals decided to stick it to the 2015 MVP and finally get past the NLDS. However, now it seems that they did what they set out to do, so they’re back to their old antics of blowing leads.
“Honestly, this whole playoff run was just a middle finger to Bryce,” Nationals veteran Ryan Zimmerman explains. “We just wanted to get to a World Series so he couldn’t. Now it’s back to the usual.”
Still, some fans just can’t comprehend how the same thing that has always happened to them and will probably continue to happen to them until the sun explodes is happening to them.
“It just makes no sense,” Maryland resident Thomas Raghetti says. “I mean, we’ve done everything to a tee. We started an aging and unreliable veteran in Anibal Sanchez in game three, we used a spot starter in game four and then turned the games over to our perpetually inefficient bullpen. How did we blow it?”