One day after the Washington Nationals' heartbreaking loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5, some Nats fans are giving “natitude” a whole new meaning.
“Before this everyone was wearing their Washington nationals’ hats and jerseys and now it’s like a ghost town,” Cheryl Lee said today outside the park, “No one’s here, it’s sad.”
Instead of getting ready for the next game, which would have been Sunday if the Nats had won, the park today was nearly deserted. Inside cleaning crews started powerwashing and a few tourists shuffled in for one of the last tours before the park is closed for the season.
As fans left the park late last night following the loss, the emotions ran high.
“As a DC sports fan we see to always lose the last lead, the last inning, the last quarter,” JT Jenkins of Fredericksburg, Virginia said, “We need to learn how to win.”
The loss was especially stinging, fans said, because the game was an emotional roller coaster. After building a 6-nothing lead launching 3 homeruns off Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright, fans admitted they thought the Nats had it all locked up.
“It was a good game all up to the 9th inning,” Alex Egan of DC said, “It was one of the best games I’ve ever see actually until that inning and then they just blew it.”
The Cardinals defeated the Nationals 9-7.
“Being up in the top of the 9th – and then like falling two runs behind and not being able to make it up just kind of sucks,” Nats fan and Arlington, Virginia resident Christina Damhuis said.
And as disappointed fans left the stadium, there was a lot of mention of the “S” word – for Strasberg. A lot of fans rumbled about what could have been if star Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasberg had been allowed to play in the post season.
“I think it could have been a difference maker,” Nats fan Dana Rawlings of Maryland said, “Edwin Jackson pitched badly. Drew Storen pitched badly. They let it slip away with walks.”
While the original reaction from Nats fans was shock, disappointment and anger, nearly all the fans admitted that the renewed spirit for baseball in Washington has been welcome in the town. Many said they’ll still be bringing their natitude next year, just after first recovering from the loss.
With the end of this historic season, perhaps the phrase “there’s always next year” stings a bit more this year.