The overnight story from Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post is a gut punch of reality, and if you can stomach up enough to relive last night through the thoughts of Svrluga, you can read his article or just those words in his Tweet where he is calling the season OVER!
That might not go over well with some as he writes “The 2015 Nats’ season died Tuesday night.”
The 2015 Nats' season died Tuesday night. On the bullpen, Matt Williams — and the future. (Early version for now.) http://t.co/I0MGw2ouUI
— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) September 9, 2015
Jayson Werth as a team leader refuses to concede the season publicly and that is admirable, “We gotta win tomorrow. I come from the school of never say die. It’s not over til it’s over. We’re not out until we’re out.”
The season isn’t over technically. There is still 24 games remaining to be played. The Nats are 6 games behind in the standings. If for nothing else, play for some pride.
Drew Storen was drafted 10th overall in the 2009 Draft. It wasn’t a great Draft Class if not for one name, Mike Trout as the 25th overall pick and a few other players that will be good like that Strasburg guy and Shelby Miller and AJ Pollock and a few others.
Storen debuted on May 17, 2010 and quickly was annointed the “closer”. Storen would pitch for 3 managers starting with Riggleman, then Davey Johnson, and Matt Williams.
Storen would also be the closer for some of the biggest games in the Washington Nationals history, and to borrow a term used here last night, the common denominator is the same in the turning points of promising seasons has 1 name as a constant and that is Drew Storen in now what some say are the worst 3 defeats to turn or end a season:
- Game 5 to end the 2012 playoffs vs. the Cardinals
- Game 2 of the 2014 playoffs to blow the save against the Giants
- September 8, 2015 Drew Storen comes into a 7-3 game with 2 outs
The Stanford educated Storen has earned far in excess of $12,000,000 in his career which doesn’t include playoff bonuses, MLBPA payouts, appearance fees, etc, and in most professions Drew Storen would be considered rich with great future earning potential. Despite all the ups and downs in Drew Storen’s professional career, he is a popular player amongst the fans. He’s nice, he’s accessible, he’s endearing to the fans. Some fans even denounced their Nats fanhood when Papelbon was signed seeing this as one of the greatest slights to their favorite player. Many fans had Drew’s back.
How many people in the fanbase thought Drew was disrespected when Rizzo signed the biggest reliever Free Agent deal in history to get Rafael Soriano in 2013 or when Rizzo before the 2015 trade deadline traded for Jonathan Papelbon? Rizzo has known for a long time what few want to admit that Drew Storen is human. As humans we are not perfect. We all breathe differently and handle the pressures of our jobs differently.
For anyone who had been screwed by a boss, maybe they empathized with Drew Storen but that would only be the case if Drew was really “screwed”. Others might have thought they had a parallel to the demotions of Drew Storen, but if you were a surgeon where your job required perfection, this would be akin to killing patients which makes that a poor analogy, and that’s the problem in trying to compare a baseball life to any other job. Baseball is about failures. The best hitters fail at least 2 out of 3 times. What is acceptable for a closer or top set-up man in success and failures? For Storen, last night’s epic failure was Blown Save #5 of the season. Not near the worst in the Majors.
There lies the problem. Saves and Blown Saves are not created equally. They all have a different value to a season. The Blown Save and Loss on August 7th was one of those games where the season turned on a dime. The Nats were ahead by 3 runs when Storen took over in a 4-1 game and Drew melted down on the mound in the hot August sun and gave up a Grand Slam to Carlos Gonzalez and the Nats lost 5-4. That was also a Jordan Zimmermann start like last night and like Game 2 of the 2014 playoffs. If that wasn’t enough, 2 days after the Blown Save on August 7th, Storen would take another loss against the Rockies. Instead of the Nats being 1/2 game ahead in the standings on 8/9/15 if they won both those games, they were 1 1/2 games back in the standings and the season just never got better from there for Storen or the Nats. Drew’s struggles would continue and with his struggles, came the Nats struggles.
After Game 5 in 2012 I felt bad for Drew Storen. Today I blame him for everything.
— David Huzzard (@DavidHuzzard) September 9, 2015
Some were waiting for some post-game words from Drew Storen and if you search for anything mostly what you will find are some tweets of anger like the one above. Here was the only quote we could find from Drew after the game, “I felt really great, just command was a little off. Kept trying to hit a spot and was just missing.”
There also might have been a quote I can’t confirm that he was trying to hit the outside corner on Cespedes which is mind-boggling if true because look where Ramos was set-up:
In trying to find some words of wisdom at this difficult time in the season, I would try to say have some compassion and measure your words carefully, and don’t say anything that you will regret. It’s easy to pile up on a person when the chips are down.
“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” – Alexander Pope