Washington's Cinderella story didn't finish as most hoped, but fans in D.C. should rest easy knowing that Stephen Strasburg's exclusion from the postseason roster had nothing to do with the Nationals' early exit.
Some will point to the sub-par starting pitching; others will highlight inexperience as the main factor in Washington's disappointing finish.
But any way you look at it, the Nationals failed to advance as a team.
And one player wasn't going to make the difference.
After finishing with baseball's best regular season record, hardly any of their impressive statistics translated into October.
Washington's starters struggled early and often, the offense sputtered collectively and their bullpen failed to perform when it mattered most.
Critics will argue that Strasburg would have won a decisive Game 5 at home. I contend that nobody foresaw a six-run lead evaporating before nearly 46,000 fans in D.C.
I will point to Strasburg's inconsistent production in the second-half and suggest that his performance under the bright lights would be anything but certain.
Because in the unpredictable game that is playoff baseball, nothing is guaranteed.
And that is exactly why the Nationals will watch Game 7 of the NLCS from home.
Here are five good reasons Stephen Strasburg's absence from the postseason roster had nothing to do with Washington's early exit: