The Washington Nationals and their fans (all 30 of them) have dubbed this weekend series with the Phillies “The Series”. Yes you read that correctly, “The Series”. In what will prove to once again be a fun weekend on twitter, the Nationals are promoting fans use the hashtag #takebackourpark and have even gone as far to refer to their stadium as Natitude Park because their fans have #natitude. Not only will this make for a lot of fun for Phillies fans that head to DC, but it is also just a plain ridiculous sounding word.
It all started with the Great Ticket Embargo of 2012
, in which the Nationals decided to refuse the money from Phillies fans and instead let people who live in Washington make a ton of money by reselling tickets on secondary markets. In refusing to sell tickets to anyone outside the DC metro area, it ignited the Phillies fan base to attempt to get tickets in any way possible. Both of our sports talk radio stations are giving out tickets and quite a few bus trips have been organized for the weekend’s games. Many local blogs and websites were able to buy 6 or 8 tickets at a time until they had an entire section full. All because the Nationals, who once actually welcomed and marketed to Phillies fans, wanted to take back their park from half of its ticket buyers.
I appreciate that the Nationals are looking at the Phillies as their rivals, but doesn't that have to be a two way street? Speaking from a fan's perspective, we have to hate them too, right? We have to hate them as much as we hate the Pittsubrgh Penguins, or the New York Giants for them to be our rivals. Does anyone in Philadelphia hate the Nationals?
Judging by the fact that for a Friday night game in Washington DC, the ratio of Phillies to Nationals fans was approximately 25%:75%, it will be no surprise today and tomorrow (both afternoon games) when Nationals Park (excuse me, Natitude Park) turns back into Citizens Bank Park South.
Phillies vs. Natinals (Yes, I know that’s misspelled) 5/4/12 QUICK HITS:
Nationals defeat the Phillies 4-3 in 11 innings.
- Kyle Kendrick pitched 5 innings, allowing 1 earned run (on a homerun to Chad Tracy), 7 hits, 2 walks and struck out 2.
- Kendrick got into jam after jam, but was able to get out of each of them, leaving 7 men on base in those 5 innings and induced 2 double plays
- Hunter Pence blasted a 2-run homerun of Stephen Strasburg in the 4th
- Chad Tracy belted a solo homerun of Kenrdrick in the 4th
- Carlos Ruiz kept up his torrid pace by hitting another homerun, his 6th of the season.
- Jimmy Rollins made two outstanding defensive plays, first getting Rick Ankeil out at 3rd when he overran the bag, and then getting him out at home in the 8th when bases were loaded.
- Michael Scwimmer took the loss for the Phillies, pitching 2.2 innings in relief allowing 2 walks in the 11th that eventually led to the game winning hit by Wilson Ramos
- Charlie Manuel was ejected in the first inning for arguing a check swing (or non check swing) by Bryce Harper. The umpiring crew was down a man as Joe West was absent with an undisclosed illness. That cost the Phillies because there was no umpire at third to appeal to. Victorino was also robbed of a hit as homeplate umpire, Rob Drake ruled a ball foul that would’ve been the 3rd base umpire’s call. Victorino was also robbed of a stolen base (his first time being caught stealing this season) when umpire Andy Fletcher ruled him out after being in a bad position. I can’t complain because at lease these calls were not as atrocious as this.
The Phillies continue the series today against the Nationals. Vance Worley will be opposed by Gio Gonzalez. Worley has pitched well as of late, allowing only 2 earned runs in his last 22 IP. He has recorded 14 strikeouts against the Nationals in 13 IP for his career. Gio Gonzalez has never pitched against the Phillies before, and has pitched well this year, posting a 2-1 record and a sub-2 ERA. He has only faced Juan Pierre, Ty Wigginton Placido Polanco before. While Wigginton is hitless, Polanco and Pierre seem to have some success against him; Polanco is 3 for 8 and Pierre is 2 for 4 against the lefty.
“The Series” finale Sunday afternoon will feature Cole Hamels and Jordan Zimmerman. Hamels is 10-4 against the Nationals for his career, posting a 2.71 ERA and 136 Ks in 129.1 IP. Cole should look out for Rick Ankiel, who is batting .571 against him. Zimmerman has been a victim of bad run support this year. While his ERA is low (1.89), he is 1-2 in 5 starts and the Nationals have averaged less than 3 runs in his starts. Also at work against him is the fact that he is 0-2 with a 6.60 ERA against the Phillies for his career.