Not since the original Senators lost to the New York Giants in the 1933 World Series had big league baseball stretched past the regular season in Washington. Back then, of course, there was no MLB Network in HD to carry a game the way there was Wednesday; indeed, television itself was in its infancy, period. And spectators in attendance way back then could not enjoy a beer at the ballpark, because prohibition wasn't repealed until a couple of months later.
With the Capitol Dome rising beyond left field, the crowd of today was ready to root, root, root for the home team, breaking into chants of "Let's go, Nats!" after player introductions and again after a four-jet flyover. And, boy, did they boo — when Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay was announced as the game's first batter, when catcher Yadier Molina trotted to chat with Carpenter, even when Carpenter paused between pitches to tie his red-and-gray right shoe.
Most of all, they booed when Washington's Danny Espinosa was ruled out at first after bunting in the second. TV replays showed that Espinosa did beat third baseman David Freese's throw, but the call was missed by Jim Joyce — an umpire best known for blowing a call at first base to ruin Detroit pitcher Armando Galarraga's bid for a perfect game in 2010.
Washington manager Davey Johnson went out to argue.
"He said he thought he got it right," Johnson said. "I said, 'Check the replay.' He said, 'I don't have the luxury of doing that right now.' But it was just one play."
Even another victory by Teddy Roosevelt in the Presidents race failed to give the Nationals a lift. The team let Mr. Rough Rider win the mascot sprint in the fourth inning for the first time ever in last week's regular season finale.
Now Teddy has a two-game winning streak. The Nationals, however, have a two-game skid.
"We lost another battle," Johnson said. "We got a couple more battles we need to win, and it comes from our pitching. Detwiler has certainly got the stuff to pitch a good game. He's pitched some quality games this year. So look forward to tomorrow."
NOTES: SS Ian Desmond had three of the Nationals' seven hits and is 7 for 12 in the series. ... Frank Robinson, the first manager of the Washington Nationals, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Former Senators slugger Frank Howard gets that honor Thursday. ... Lohse got the win when the Cardinals beat the Braves in the wild-card game. ... Detwiler will be making the first postseason appearance of his career. His last regular-season start also came against the Cardinals, and he went only 2 1-3 innings, giving up seven runs. ... Wednesday was the 88th anniversary of Washington's only World Series championship, won by the Senators on Oct. 10, 1924.
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