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.
My opinions: 5.0 was the golden age of content, the ability prune barely did anything, and 6.2 is actually an enjoyable timesink.
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.