From the Post:
It started as a carnival for a city long-deprived of October Madness.
In the hours before the first postseason Major League Baseball game in Washington since the Great Depression, before hype turned to humiliation, a workaholic fan base known for a sometimes muted, late-arriving brand of cheering showed up early. They’d finessed small lies to bosses and teachers, postponed meetings, scoured cable guides for the elusive MLB Network.
They dressed in red and waved Natitude rally towels. Some even brandished the goofy hallmarks of fans gone wild, including Jayson Werth clip-on beards, red-and-white painted faces and a custom Nats superhero suit that one boy wore.
|The entrance to the park|
|Everyone got their towels out!|
|Bryce Harper being introduced.|
The game took over. And well it just didn't go very well. From the Post:
The red-clad fans flowed into Nationals Park from Half Street early Wednesday afternoon, basking in bright sun and crisp, fall air. Four F-16s screeched overhead. Frank Robinson, the Washington Nationals’ first manager, threw out the first pitch and waved to an adoring, roaring crowd. The firsts unrolled one by one, pulsing through the stadium like an electric current, until the game unfolded and the home team still had not scored the first postseason run on Washington soil since Game 5 of the 1933 World Series.
Over nine emphatic innings, the stadium’s rabid, towel-waving joy devolved into cold, stark dread. The Nationals gave this city seven months of giddy thrills and spent 145 days in first place. After the St. Louis Cardinals throttled them, 8-0, in Game 3 of this National League Division Series before a record crowd, the Nationals who made Washington love baseball again may have only one game left.
The Nationals gave their crowd rallies to cheer, and then turned them into desperate deflation. They pushed runners to either second or third base in five of the first six innings. They went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 men on base. If not for shortstop Ian Desmond’s 3-for-4 performance, the series would seem even more lopsided than it already is.