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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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Strasburg, Nats bats power past Cubs 8-4

Strasburg, Nats bats power past Cubs 8-4

Stephen Strasburg struck out 13 in seven innings, Bryce Harper had two doubles and two RBIs, and the Washington Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs 8-4 on Wednesday night.

Anthony Rendon and Matt Wieters hit back-to-back homers against John Lackey (5-9) during Washington's four-run second inning. After the Cubs pulled within three at 6-3, Daniel Murphy went deep in the fifth.

It was a rough day for the Cubs, who cut veteran catcher Miguel Montero after he criticized pitcher Jake Arrieta for his role in the Nationals' seven steals in Tuesday's 6-1 win over the World Series champions. Then reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant departed with an apparent right ankle injury.

Bryant awkwardly clipped third base while catching a foul pop off the bat of Wieters in the sixth. He walked around gingerly before being helped off the field.

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Did Bryce Harper just hint at his future with this Instagram caption?

Did Bryce Harper just hint at his future with this Instagram caption?

With Bryce Harper's free agency approaching in 2018, the Nationals slugger has kept his options open as everyone is speculating about where he'll end up when his contract with the Nats has come to an end.

From the Yankees to the Cubs, the rumor mill simply isn't stopping. And, perhaps, another clue about his plans has appeared.

Before Tuesday night's matchup against the Cubs, Harper posted an Instagram with his wife, Kayla, along with childhood friend and Cubs third baseman, Kris Bryant, and Bryant's wife, Jess.

That was nothing unusual as the pair grew up playing baseball together in their hometown of Las Vegas. However, the caption is what stuck out.

RELATED: THE NATIONALS PLAYED A HUGE ROLE IN A CUB BEING RELEASED

"Just two Vegas boys living out our dream with the ones we love! This is what it's all about..What a time to be alive🙌🏻#MLB #702 #Back2BackOneDay"

Social media went into a frenzy over what seemed like an allusion to Harper's future: he wants to eventually join back up with his childhood buddy Kris Bryant, just like the good ol' days. 

Adding to the worry is that Harper's dog is named Wrigley. 

Are the Cubs a shoo-in for Bryce Harper with the appeal of his childhood best friend and his dog's name?

Could this allusion mean heading up the windy city and a reunion for Harper and his pal?

Did Harper just hint at his future with the Cubs with an Instagram hashtag?