The Washington Nationals postseason prospects are grim. And, now, so is their coverage in the Washington Post.
The Orioles have a 76-76 record. The Nationals are 78-74. With 10 games left in the regular season, neither team looks likely to enter the playoffs. O’s fans have reason to at least fake a little optimism: our team is surging. “Mathematically possible wild card spot” is enough for us, at least right now.
The Nats are another story. They just got swept (by the Orioles, of all teams!), and their Washington Post coverage has turned appropriately pessimistic, maybe even depressed.
Here’s how Nats beat writer Chelsea Janes ends the first paragraph of her article reporting on the sweep:
“[The Nationals] are seven and a half games back in the National League East now with 10 to play, playing near-meaningless games in front of unexcited crowds, their playoff odds growing as long as the afternoon shadows that crept across the field by Thursday’s first pitch.”
The article only gets better from there, as Janes peppers her relentlessly downbeat reporting with optimistic soundbites from the players. O’s catcher Matt Wieters’ eighth-inning, two-run homer is given a tragic flavor:
“Center fielder Michael A. Taylor chased that ball a few steps before slowing,” Janes writes. “He stood still to watch the high line drive travel into blue seats in right-center field, helpless against the inevitable. The Nationals now have blown a lead in the sixth inning or later seven times in their past 16 games.”
Those words are immediately followed by some standard glass-half-full statements from relief pitcher Blake Treinen — “Tonight didn’t go our way,” yadda, yadda, yadda.
Read the whole thing at the Washington Post. It’s beautiful.
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