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All good things must come to an end, and so we have reached the end of the 2012 season with our beloved Washington Nationals. A look back shows how far they have come in just five years.

2008 59 & 102
2009 53 & 103
2010 69 & 93
2011 80 & 81
2012 98 & 64 (best in MLB)

Tonight they battled the St. Louis Cardinals (2011 World Series winners) to within one strike of a victory and couldn't close it out. This is no tragedy. I had a sense (for some days now) that they were not quite ready to go further. But they have experienced regular season victory and now most of their players have tasted post-season success. The Nationals have totally bonded as a team.

Next year Stephen Strasburg comes back with a healthy arm and a ferocious attitude. Next year Bryce Harper is no longer a rookie. Next year savvy manager Davey Johnson will helm the team again.

Next year: Watch out!

And for the rest of 2012: Good luck to the Cardinals.

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