August 20 and 21, 2011: Washington Nationals vs Philadelphia Phillies

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Being a Nationals fan is never super easy – supporting a team that has been down in the dumps for a while is hard work.  When a team with a passionate fan base comes to town (a fan base that has no problem calling our ballpark “theirs”), it becomes even more difficult.  Think of being a Nats fan at a Nats vs Phillies game as Advanced Placement Fandom.

Friday night was a good game to come off of – there was suspense, dedication (for those who stayed through a 2.5 hour rain delay), and a dramatic win – courtesy of a grand slam home run by Ryan Zimmerman in the bottom of the ninth.  Saturday was Ian Desmond bobblehead night, a night which has (from anecdotal evidence) usually been good for the subject of the bobblehead.  Nats fans went in to Saturday’s game hopeful, and maybe a little bit cocky off the late night win.

Saturday was not a day where fans deserved their bravado.  Roy Oswalt pitched lights out – an 8-hit shutout.  John Lannan and the defense behind him could not handle the Phillies that night, and the game was a painful reminder of why it’s hard to be a Nats fan when the Phils come to town.

Sunday was a different day.  The Nats knew that they still had a chance to take the series and that it was a new day.  They hit against Halladay early to get the lead, and though the Phillies tied it, the weather was on their side.  For the second game in 3 days, the Nats and Phillies had to sit through a rain delay – this time 1 hour 11 minutes – and when the tarp came off the field, the Nats came back with a vengeance to tie the game.  Drew Storen may not have pitched as well as he has, but Ian Desmond made up for his pitiful bobblehead night with a game-tying home run in the ninth.  Then a great inning by Sean Burnett, followed by a solid inning of hitting to win in a walk-off Hit By Pitch.

Ashley and I did not stay through the end of the game on Sunday due to previous commitments, but we were there to the bitter end on Saturday, and we can honestly say that Nats fans are really living up to expectations.  They are there for their team with a cheer, and more and more… their team is there for them with a win.

Pictures from Saturday’s game are here.

Pictures from Sunday’s game are here.

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