It looked like the Nats were going to advance to the NL Championship Series against the Giants, taking a 7-5 lead into the top of the ninth inning of Game 5 of the NLDS. As the inning began, the Nats had plastic wrap around their lockers, as it looked like there would be a champagne celebration. But that was not the case, as the Cardinals scored four runs against closer Drew Storen.
Storen was one strike away from getting David Freese for the final out, but Freese worked a walk. Daniel Descalso came to the plate, and on the first pitch, he singled off the glove of shortstop Ian Desmond, scoring Carlos Beltran and Adron Chambers to make it a 7-7 game.
Then-manager Davey Johnson elected to pitch to No. 8 hitter Pete Kozma, who singled to right field to send home Freese and Descalso and put the Cards on top.
The Nationals are hoping this year will be different, as they look to become the first D.C.-based team to win a World Series since the 1924 Senators.
• Last time they made the playoffs: The Nationals are in the playoffs for the second time in three years, and third time in franchise history. Under Johnson, the Nats lost to the Cardinals in five games in the 2012 NLDS.
• Last time they won a playoff series: One has to go back to 1981, when they were known as the Expos. Montreal defeated Philadelphia in five games in the 1981 NLDS. In the series finale, right-hander Steve Rogers pitched a six-hit shutout and drove in two runs as the Expos won the game, 3-0.
• Last time they won the NL: The Nationals/Expos have never won an NLCS. However, the Expos were in one of the best LCS in history. The year was 1981. It was the fifth and deciding game between the Expos and Dodgers. The score was tied at 1, when Rogers came out of the bullpen and allowed the game-winning home run to Rick Monday to win the pennant for Los Angeles. The game has been dubbed "Blue Monday."
• Overall DS record: 1-1 in two series; 5-5 in 10 games, .500
• Overall LCS record: 0-1 in one series; 2-3 in five games, .400
• Overall WS record: None
• Overall postseason record: 1-2 in three series, 7-8 in 15 games, .467
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.