Continued from page 1

Outside of Game 3 and the ninth inning of Game 5, they had an absolute blast and were into every second of the action. But they didn’t constitute the most-savvy baseball crowd. They howled when St. Louis batters took a pitch, whether it was close or missed by a mile. They hooted in attempts to startle the Cardinals’ fielders as they settled under fly balls. At least they never got the wave going.

“Obviously this year we gave them some fun times and some good memories,” third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. “But I think this is only the start. Hopefully they’ll be as excited for next year as they were this year and we’ll continue to grow as a team and give them something like this every year to look forward to.”

The fact is, Washington baseball grew up this week, from the team on the field to the folks in the stands. It rode the emotional rollercoaster of postseason play, where moments fluctuate from tight and tense to delightful and delirious.

The Cardinals are moving on, but not before initiating the Nats and fans to the next level.

It’s nice up here. Don’t be surprised if D.C. sticks around for awhile.