Jayson Werth knows better than any Washington Nationals player that your chances in the postseason are finite. A lot of times, there isn't a tomorrow if you don't come through today.
Taking a look at the ups and downs of the 2012 season.
All night the Washington Nationals couldn't get anything going. They scored no runs and finished with just five hits and a loss.
As the home team prepared to bat Monday night in the bottom of the eighth at Nationals Park, the video screen flashed a favorable update from the Braves-Pirates game. A rousing cheer rose from the slightly-chilled crowd of 35,387 fans, one of the few chances they had all evening to fully exercise their vocal chords.
The Nationals tell us they've started a new tradition here, one of winning. It is difficult to argue with the results. They've won enough to make the playoffs. They hope it isn't another 79 years before it happens again.
They sang the song in unison. It was one they'd heard 96 times before, the one they put on after every win they ticked off in this deliriously charmed season. They knew the words.
In the quiet calm that hovered over Busch Stadium Saturday afternoon, manager Davey Johnson sat in the dugout and looked out at the field. A groundskeeper made minor tweaks to the infield dirt, stadium personnel bustled around. Nothing seemed different about this day.
Tyler Clippard knew something was amiss. That something was different. In the midst of a miserable September that stood in stark contrast to the way he'd pitched for the first five months, he sought out old video.
It was just Friday afternoon that Davey Johnson endorsed a co-closer approach. Both Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard would get chances down the stretch as the Washington Nationals try to wrap up the National League East title.