Kyle Schwarber saw the media contingent around him growing larger and put a quick stop to the questions.
He knew he messed up when he dropped Daniel Murphy's fly ball in the sixth inning and promptly kicked it for back-to-back errors that cost the Cubs a run.
And he wanted to own it. No excuses.
"I should've caught that ball and I didn't and that led to a run," Schwarber said, looking reporters in the eye and staring directly into cameras. "I'm gonna take full responsbility on that, before anyone else asks me: It's my fault. The ball shoulda been caught and I didn't catch it."
But that's not how the story ended for Schwarber and the Cubs.
They clawed back the next inning, when Albert Almora Jr. pinch-hit for Schwarber and drove in Ben Zobrist to tie the game.
Then Anthony Rizzo played the hero and gave a "Gladiator"-esque performance afterwards.
"For us to be able to come back like that, that just speaks to the volumes of this team," Schwarber said. "We're not gonna ever give up. Everyone has each other's backs, and that's the most important part — they picked me up today.
"When we were going through the line, I was giving everybody hugs because they picked me up right there and it was big."
Schwarber admitted he said "a lot of bad words" after Ryan Zimmerman doubled home Murphy in that sixth inning. But he said his teammates were relentless in their support, from Jason Heyward and Jon Jay in the outfield during the Cubs pitching change right after the dropped ball to the guys in the dugout refusing to let one of the most popular players in the clubhouse drop his head.
Not that he wanted to.
No, Schwarber isn't built like that.
In the seventh inning, following Zobrist's one-out double to break up Max Scherzer's no-hitter, Schwarber was standing on deck and watched Nationals manager Dusty Baker come out to the mound.
Baker ultimately wound up yanking Scherzer to bring in Sammy Solis, a southpaw.
That meant the end of Schwarber's night, since he rarely gets to hit against lefties, especially that late in a game.
Almora was the call, which didn't disappoint Schwarber, but it did make him feel something as he hoped for a shot at redemption.
"I was just more pissed off because I just dropped the ball," Schwarber said. "I saw Scherzer trying to stay in there and I was like, 'Come on, stay in there.' I knew as soon as that lefty was coming in, Albert was gonna be pinch-hitting.
"I wasn't frustrated by that at all. I was more frustrated by what just happened. I saw Scherzer trying to talk into it, but it didn't work out. But hey, it worked out for us, that's for dang sure."
Schwarber's right, because Almora had his back.
"When I was pinch-hit for him, that was in the front of my head," Almora said. "I was thinking I wanna help him and Quintana, who did an unbeilevable job. I was just happy I did my job."
Almora said he didn't get a chance to speak to Schwarber before he pinch-hit for him in that crucial spot.
But you better believe the two talked after.
"I don't think he let me take two steps down the stairs before he grabbed me and gave me a huge hug and thanked me," Almora said.
"I said, 'No way, this is OUR game. We're family. This is what we're supposed to do.'"