They aren't rewarding you for "almost being good enough to win." They're rewarding you for nearly matching another group of player's skills but ultimately losing. It's incentive to keep trying when you're on a losing streak.
Praise the Quest Writers for they give life to otherwise boring expansions.
Planning to level in WoD using the suddenly useful Warglaives of Azzinoth.
That's ridiculous. Defeat should have no reward associated with it.