PHOENIX - If you were expecting the waterworks to kick in for Davey Johnson after his last game as Nationals manager, you can keep on waiting.
Johnson was all smiles after today’s 3-2 Nationals loss in the regular season finale, this despite the fact that his managerial career ends on a losing note.
He finishes his career with a 1,372-1,071 record, 301 games above the .500 mark.
“It was a heck of a ride,” Johnson said. “Great group of guys. Time to go home. Put me out of pasture.”
Did it feel any different during the game today?
“I had one emotional (moment) during the whole game, and that was pretty much it,” Johnson said.
Johnson had an opportunity to get in one last argument with an umpire in the bottom of the eighth inning when first base umpire Tim McClellan ruled A.J. Pollack safe at first on a bang-bang play that brought in the go-ahead run, but he didn’t emerge from the dugout.
“McClelland already came in the dugout one time and mimicked McCatty,” Johnson said. ” ‘Where is he? Where is he?’ I don’t know. Pretty close play. I don’t know if he had him or not. Did the replay show he was out or safe? I was a little worn out by then.”
Press box replays seemed to show Pollack was out by a split-second, but it was hard to tell.
Tanner Roark went seven innings today, allowing just an unearned run on three hits, leaving his ERA for his rookie season at 1.51.
“Every time he’s gone out there, I’ve liked his work,” Johnson said. “He was outstanding. That’s a good-hitting ball club. He makes his pitches. He’s unfazed. If we boot a ball behind him, he goes right after them. He’s got a heck of a shot next year of making this club.”
Roark has to be proud of the work he put in this season, coming onto the scene with a bang and putting himself in the mix for a spot on the Nats’ starting staff in 2014.
“That makes me look forward to next season and seeing what happens next season and what I can bring to the table and hopefully be fighting for a rotation spot,” Roark said. “It feels good to finish the season strong and hopefully keep it going next year.
“I feel I can play up here for sure. But you never know what’s going to happen. Just workout in the offseason, do my best and come back ready to go in spring training.”
The Nats played the young guys behind Roark today, giving the veterans a chance to watch from the bench. But they were there supporting today’s starters every step of the way, and popped up to the top step of the dugout in the bottom of the seventh when Roark got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam to preserve the lead for the time being. Ryan Mattheus surrendered two runs in the eighth and the Diamondbacks took the win, but that didn’t much matter.
“It was fun,” Adam LaRoche said. “And not just that, but being there with Davey in his last game. Watching him come through and talk with guys and try to enjoy it a little bit more and take it all in. It’s the least we can do. These guys sit and watch us play every day. So it’s nice to be able to return the favor.”
Guys asked teammates for autographs after the game, exchanged hugs and delivered well-wishes for the winter. Another year is complete, and the offseason awaits.