A couple days ago on Twitter, I asked whether Nationals fans would prefer to spoil the playoff hopes of the Phillies or Braves. By my count, 30 of you responded, and 27 said they’d rather hurt the Phillies.
There’s no question Phillies animosity runs high with Nationals fans these days, what with the team two hours north of Washington having gone to the last two World Series, winning one, and invading Nationals Park on a regular basis. The Nationals get a chance to hurt the Phillies’ postseason chances with the start of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park tonight, after they helped Philadelphia by taking two out of three from the Braves earlier in the week.
It’s somewhat trite to take pride in the spoiler role every year, and the Nationals have been in it plenty of times before (remember what they did to the Mets in 2007 and 2008?). But at this point, it’s one of the final things the Nationals have to play for, and aside from professional integrity, it’s a source of motivation at a time where such things can be hard to come by.
Jason Marquis faces Roy Oswalt tonight at 7:05 p.m. Check back for more throughout the night.