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.
Currently trying to experiences all classes at 100. Count so far: 6.
Ahead of the Curve: Imperator's Fall 1/29/15 with a friendly casual guild.
It would be frustrating to not get at least something out of it, when you're losing.
That's ridiculous. Defeat should have no reward associated with it.