As Bob Dylan once sang, “It’s not dark yet, but it’s gettin there.” So too the Nationals’ playoff hopes aren’t dead yet, but they’re getting there. Monday, after Scott Hairston quit striking out and finally hit the ball and the Nationals pulled ahead, Tyler Clippard couldn’t get the 3rd out and gave up two in the 8th as the Nationals dropped the opening game of their series 3-2.
It’s hard to be too upset with Clippard, he’s been the model of consistency and one of the bright spots this year for the Nats. After he got two outs for the Nats to start the 8th, Clippard walked Hernandez to bring up Mr. “1st Place Goes Through Philly” himself, Jimmy Rollins. Clippard quickly got Rollins to two strikes, but couldn’t put him away and he smoked a double that scored Hernandez, then Carlos Ruiz singled to drive in Rollins and Harper’s throw, like the Nat’s season, was a bit up the line. Somewhere along the line Ryan Zimmerman hit a home run, Strasburg was stellar and blah, blah, blah.
The Nats are now 7.5 games back of the Reds for the second Wild Card slot and I’m sure it could happen, but whatever, this season has been a letdown. Kind of like watching the final episode of “Lost” 162 times.
The Nats should shut Bryce Harper down now that they’re out of it. Harpe was gimping all over the field on Monday night. Don’t worry though, because Davey asked him how he was doing and Bryce told him he was fine. Now, I’m not a medical professional, but I highly doubt the best way to determine the health of your highly competitive, 20 year old, once in a generation talent is to ask him how he feels. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that’s probably the dumbest thing a team can do. That’s a page right out of the Michael Scott book of management.
Oh, you thought because I started with a Dylan quote this was going to be all introspective and cerebral. Nope, this is one fan realizing that the team he thought was going to win eleventy hundred games this year isn’t going to make the playoffs. Oh sure, there’s always next year, the Nats are young, but remember, the same guys who thought trading Alex Meyer for Denard Span was a good idea and bringing back an aging Adam LaRoche will be making the decisions again this offseason, so don’t get your hopes up too much. Perhaps, they’ll just ask prospective free agents how they’re feeling and go with that.