After the Reds were finished off by the Giants on Thursday (see Fun Fact Friday below), the Nationals suffered their own collapse on the other side of the NL playoffs of Friday. Jumping out in front to a fast 6-0 lead in the third inning, the Nationals looked like they had everything under control. However, just like last year, the Cardinals always seem to play with high levels of confidence and determination no matter what the scoreboard says, and last year’s champions squashed the World Series dreams of all Washington fans in the ninth inning and ended up winning 9-7. As if the loss wasn’t hard enough to swallow, the Nationals have to head into the off-season knowing that no team has ever blown that big of a lead in a winner-take-all post-season game.
The Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals had phenomenal, feel-good regular seasons, leaving their divisional rivals in the dust. However, I’m sure every one of those players would trade their regular-season crowns for a chance at the ultimate prize. The Reds have only won the National League once in the past 35 years, while the Nationals have never won the NL Pennant. It was exciting to think that one of these two teams could break through this year with a lot of young talent filling both rosters. Now that the dust has settled, though, the NLCS will be between the Giants and Cardinals (the 2010 and 2011 World Series champions), and the Reds and Nationals will be watching the rest of the post-season on television recovering from their heartbreaking losses.
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