Sep 12, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) hits a home run against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Phillies vs. Nationals Series Preview: One Last Stop in DC

This weekend, the Phillies make their third and final trip into Washington, DC to take on the Nationals.  And for the third time this season, I will be attending one of the games.

The last time the Phillies were in town, I bought tickets to a Saturday night game.  That was considered a “Prime” game on the Nats’ schedule, and as a result, I paid $40 for a ticket.  For tonight’s game, I was able to obtain a ticket in the same section on StubHub for $11.  In other words, demand for tickets has gone down.

You’d think that the Nationals’ fans would be excited about their team’s desperate push for a playoff spot.  But it seems that once Robert Griffin and the Redskins start to play, everyone forgets about the Nats.

What’s New with the Nationals

The Nationals are making a late push for the playoffs.  They’re 8-2 in their last ten games, and now sit only 5.5 games out of the second wild card spot.  It’s still not likely that they’ll make the playoffs, but they’ve got some life left in them.

Featured Nationals Player: Ryan Zimmerman

Ryan Zimmerman has been hot lately, hitting eight home runs in the month of September, including six in his past six games.  I don’t know for sure due to my attempts to avoid Nationals’ broadcasts, but I can guess that the Nats’ announcers have portrayed this as being some sort of superhuman feat.

F.P. Santangelo is awful. Image Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Since the day he first showed up on the Nationals’ roster, the team’s announcers have made a point to make Zimmerman out to be the greatest thing that ever happened to baseball.  I guess I can understand a little, as the Nats used to be awful, and Zimmerman was one of the few players who didn’t absolutely suck.  But it became a bit ridiculous at times.  The guy could strike out after fouling a few pitches off, and they’d rave about a “tough at bat,” and how Zimmerman “hung in there.”

In other news, the Nationals’ announcers are horrible.  They’re enough to make me want to live a pious life, because I’m pretty sure if I go to Hell, part of my punishment will be to listen to Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo on a continuous cycle.  Do Nats’ fans even like Santangelo, or is he their version of Chris Wheeler: The guy who fans just roll their eyes at when he says stupid things?

Anyway, to sum up what I was saying: Ryan Zimmerman is on a hot streak, and Phillies pitchers should be cautious.

Key Phillies Storyline

After last night’s 10-5 win, the Phillies no longer have the worst run differential in the National League!  Their -116 cumulative total is four runs better than the Marlins’ league worst -120 total.  So I guess things are looking up a bit!

Don’t feel too bad for the Marlins.  At least they have a young phenom pitcher who got the Braves really upset after he hit a home run against them.  Sadly, the Phillies don’t have anyone like that.

Tweet of Optimism

It would be encouraging to see Brown have some success as the year comes to a close.

Tweet of Pessimism

Yes, the Nats are definitely hot right now.

Final Take

Hopefully the Phillies provide some resistance, and derail the Nats’ desperate quest to make it back to the playoffs.  And it would be nice if they could win tonight when I’m at the stadium.  If AT&T cooperates, I’ll try to Tweet some live updates from the game, so make sure to follow me @MikeLacy_215.

Tags: Baseball Bob Carpenter Domonic Brown F. P. SANTANGELO Jose Fernandez Miami Marlins Mike Lacy MLB Philadelphia Phillies Phillies Series Preview Ryan Zimmerman Series Preview Washington Nationals

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