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Nats' Game 5 loss keep Washington, D.C. in sports success cellar

Nats' Game 5 loss keep Washington, D.C. in sports success cellar

The Washington Nationals lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the 2016 National League Divisional Series after being unabkle to rally back from a 4-1 deficit, falling 4-3 after Clayton Kershaw came in to close the game out

What does that mean?

It means that 1) The Nationals season once against in heartbreak and,

2) CSNMA gets to trot out the ugliest sports statistic in the city.

Washington, D.C. remains the only city with four major sports team to fail to reach a conference final since 2000.

Washington has not had a major professional sports team reach the conference finals since 1998, when the Capitals defeated the Buffalo Sabres to reach the Stanley Cup Final.

In that time, all but five cities with at least one major pro sports team has reached a conference finals, but Washington, D.C. is the only city with more than two teams to fail to do so. 

If the heartbreak wasn't enough, the fact that Cleveland, arguably the most downtrodden pro sports city in the country, overcame demons to win their first professional championship since 1964. The Cavaliers appeared destined for heartbreak, but then the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals, and Cleveland was no longer the laughing stock of pro sports.

With Cleveland hoisting a title banner, Washington, D.C. remains firmly entrenched in the top 5 among least successful pro sports cities.

Buffalo has never welcomed a championship team back to town. Despite the Braves dominating the N.L. in the 1990's and the Falcons making a Super Bowl, the town's apathy for their pro sports teams keep them firmly in the running.

But D.C. stands alone when it comes to even sniffing a championship series, at least for another few months.

Spreadsheet Notes:

- Grouping the New York and Bay Area teams could go any of a number of ways. The Mets/Jets/Islanders were grouped together as were the Yankees/Giants/Rangers/Knicks given traditional but not guaranteed fan allegiances. The same applies to Oakland/San Francisco/San Jose.

Green Bay was grouped with Milwaukee because the Packers are Milwaukee's football team, even with the close proximity of Chicago. 

The professional teams in Tennessee were grouped together to create a adequate sample size for the area.

Certainly, there is overlap, especially in major markets on the East Coast,  but this is the most adequate way to get a strong sample size of the major sports cities.

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Nats beat Mariners behind Joe Ross' career day in return from minors

Nats beat Mariners behind Joe Ross' career day in return from minors

WASHINGTON -- Anthony Rendon homered twice and drove in five runs, Joe Ross returned from the minors to allow one run over a career high-tying eight innings, and the Washington Nationals routed the Seattle Mariners 10-1 on Tuesday night.

Bryce Harper added his 14th homer and Jayson Werth hit his seventh off Chris Bergman (1-2), who allowed all of the Nationals' runs and 14 of their 15 hits.

Rendon doubled before his second homer -- and seventh of the season -- completed an eight-run fourth inning. Ryan Zimmerman also had three hits.

Mike Zunino homered off Ross (2-0) in his return from his own minor league stint. Robinson Cano was hitless in his first game back from the disabled list following a thigh injury as Seattle dropped its fourth straight.

Ross showed no signs of the late April struggles that ended with a demotion to Triple-A Syracuse. He yielded five hits and a walk while striking out six, and retired 12 straight batters after a leadoff single to begin the game.

By the time Seattle finally put multiple runners aboard, Washington had already opened a 10-0 lead.

Rendon's second-inning shot around the left field foul pole made it 2-0.

Then Werth, Harper and Rendon all connected in the fourth, helping the Nationals score seven of their eight runs in the inning with two outs.

MORE NATIONALS: WATCH: Werth, Harper go back-to-back, Rendon hits 2 HRs in Nationals win

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WATCH: Werth and Harper go back-to-back, Rendon hits 2 HRs in Nats win

WATCH: Werth and Harper go back-to-back, Rendon hits 2 HRs in Nats win

The Nationals had a big day at the plate Tuesday night.

Washington hit four home runs, including three in an eight-run fourth inning, in its 10-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Third baseman Anthony Rendon hit two home runs – the first a two-run blast to left field in the second inning and the second a three-run shot to center in the fourth. He finished the game 3-for-4 with five RBIs.

Prior to Rendon’s second homer in the fourth inning, left fielder Jayson Werth hit a two-run blast to left field, which was followed by a solo shot from right fielder Bryce Harper in the next at-bat.

Harper’s homer was measured at 450 feet.

At the end of the fourth, the Nationals led 10-0, which also included an RBI single from catcher Matt Wieters and an RBI triple from shortstop Trea Turner.

Tuesday night’s contest was the first of a three-game home series against the Mariners, who play in the American League. The Nationals and Mariners also will play Wednesday and Thursday.

Earlier this season in a 23-5 win over the New York Mets on April 30, Rendon went 6-for-6 with three home runs and 10 RBIs to become the first player to accomplish that feat since at least 1913. He now has seven homers this season.

Harper’s homer was his 14th of the season, tying him for first in the National League with the Atlanta Braves’ Freddie Freeman. The New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge is first with 15.

Though he did not have a home run Tuesday night, Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has 13 for the season.

MORE NATIONALS: 2017 MLB Power Rankings: As Bryce Harper goes, so do the Nationals