Jayson Werth's walk-off home run in Game 4 of the NLDS serves as a perfect metaphor for the season the Nationals had. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

Remembering the 2012 Nationals – Season In Review


Alright. I’ve had a chance to get sick, tremble, break stuff, get upset, etc. My counterpart Jared already had a chance to talk about looking ahead, but for right now I feel like it’s time to reflect.

They overcame the Braves, they overcame the Phillies, they overcame the ignorant national media that said Strasburg should keep pitching, despite there being several factors that justified the decision.

Bryce Harper brought as much excitement to this city as there’s been in years. I’ll never forget sitting in left field as Cole Hamels drilled him in the back, only to watch him swipe home plate a few pitches later. Unfortunately this postseason wasn’t his best friend, but what a way to go out (individually).

The Nationals rotation had three Cy Young-worthy pitchers on its staff this year, along with a quality pitcher in Edwin Jackson and a breakout season from Ross Detwiler.

Kurt Suzuki came in a trade from Oakland and became perhaps the most clutch 8-hole hitter in baseball over the course of August and September, carrying into the postseason. With nearly a lineup’s worth of different catchers calling games over the course of this season, Suzuki was the rock this team needed.

Adam LaRoche put together an MVP-caliber season, making the long wait worth it.

Jayson Werth came up clutch when it counted, and bounced back in the biggest way after missing 50 games on the disabled list. He hit what is currently (arguably) the most memorable home run in the Nationals’ young history.

Kurt Suzuki came in a trade from Oakland and became perhaps the most clutch 8-hole hitter in baseball over the course of August and September, carrying into the postseason. With nearly a lineup’s worth of different catchers calling games over the course of this season, Suzuki was the rock this team needed.

Ryan Zimmerman, the first ever pick in this team’s history, fought through an injury that will likely require surgery this offseason, taking several cortisone shots and still managing to hit over 20 HRs and drive in 95 RBIs.

Mike Rizzo took a team that was supposed to be in the middle of the pack and made them perhaps the best roster in baseball. He brought in all the necessary pieces to win a championship, and no ring shouldn’t mean no National League Executive of the Year hardware. Rizzo stuck to his guns on a difficult decision with a talented player, and deserves all the credit in the world for not buying into what ignorant media types had to say.

Davey Johnson took these miracle men and managed them all at the same time. I said Kurt Suzuki was the rock this team needed, but in retrospect it has to be Johnson. Like Rizzo, he deserves hardware to recognize the job he did this year, carrying a supposed third-place team to a Division Title and a city to its first postseason since 1933.

Though there’s no shiny trophy to prove it, the memories will speak for themselves. This was a phenomenal season, and though it’s not easy, don’t let this sour ending or the Strasburg segments on Sportscenter in the coming days take away from the other 166. If this season didn’t ignite your Natitude (a term that after the fan energy surrounding this series, I’ve finally embraced), nothing will.

I look forward to bringing you all the latest from a potentially-eventful offseason and all the memories of a magical 2013.

Countdown to Spring Training: Four Months!

Countdown to Opening Day: Six Months!
Hope you all enjoyed this year as much as I did,

-MN

Tags: Adam LaRoche Davey Johnson Featured Jayson Werth Kurt Suzuki Mike Rizzo Ryan Zimmerman Washington Nationals