DAVEY JOHNSON ENTERS RETIREMENT WITH A 1,372-1,071 MANAGERIAL RECORD
By many stretches, 162 games equates to a lot of baseball. To those who have never categorized months by spring training, regular season and playoffs, baseball appears to cover an overwhelming portion of the calendar year – too much, even. Throw into the mix, for the sake of humor, the fact Davey Johnson is now retired with an astounding 1,372-1,071 managerial record. Yes, on the surface, it all adds up to an exhaustive amount of baseball.
And yet, with Corey Brown’s grounder to Arizona first baseman Eric Chavez, the Washington Nationals officially closed out the 2013 season all too soon with a record of 86-76.
The Nats’ skipper had predicted earlier in the season that it would take a ball club a minimum of 90 wins to make it to the playoffs. While the Nats’ hopes seemed dashed long before 90 wins became impossible, Game 162 marks an abrupt end to a long season for any team omitted from October baseball – not the least, a team that many projected to win it all this year.
Nevertheless, the Nats left the field for the final time in 2013 after falling to the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2.
But, the Nats’ last game had some noteworthy moments. Prior to first pitch, the D-backs honored Johnson, who closed the book on an honorable 17-year managerial career with the Nats’ loss.
Tanner Roark provided Washington with yet another solid outing, allowing just one run on three hits and a walk through seven innings pitched. Roark’s dominance allowed the Nats – staffed primarily with reserves – the opportunity to hand Johnson one more win.
Roark’s only trouble spot came in the first after Willie Bloomquist singled and Adam Eaton hit a sacrifice bunt, which Roark bobbled allowing the Diamondbacks to hold runners at first and second. Bloomquist came home on a sacrifice fly by Paul Goldschmidt to give Arizona a 1-0 lead they held onto until the sixth.
In the meantime, Arizona’s Wade Miley was sharp, shutting down the Nats until that point.
Tyler Moore began the sixth by reaching first on a throwing error. Zach Walters then tripled him home to tie the game before he came home himself on a single by Steve Lombardozzi.
That was enough for Roark, who achieved a final line of 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K with 70 of 95 pitches thrown for strikes.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for Ryan Mattheus.
After Bloomquist struck out swinging, Eaton and Goldschmidt hit back-to-back singles. Martin Prado’s single made three – and marked the game-tying run. Mattheus forced Aaron Hill to hit a fly ball for out number two, but A.J. Pollock’s RBI single put Arizona on top once and for all, 3-2.
It is often said that anything short of a World Series ring represents a disappointment to any and all ball clubs. While a manager to be named will take the reigns on Washington’s “World Series or Bust” mantra next season, seven months stand between the Nats and their next shot at a Curly W.