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The Nats beat the Phillies … with Natitude

May 4, 2012, 11:45 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals Getty Images

I spent a lot of time in the past few days mildly mocking the idea of “Natitude” and the Washington Nationals’ take-back-the-park initiative. Earlier today Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post spoke with Davey Johnson about it all and he didn’t sound like a fan himself:

“What’s going to sell tickets is if we win ballgames,” Johnson said. “That’s the way we’re going to take this stadium back … I can hardly pronounce the dang word,” Johnson said.

Well, they did something about that tonight. They beat the Phillies in dramatic fashion in front of nearly 35,000 mostly Nats partisans who did, after all, take back the park.

The Phillies did pretty well against Stephen Strasburg, hitting a couple of homers and scoring three runs.  But the Nats’ bullpen was on point, throwing five shutout innings.  And yes, the Nats got a little help from a shorthanded umpiring crew, but whaddaya gonna do? In the end it was Wilson Ramos who did the most damage, however, knocking a bases loaded walkoff single to win it in the bottom of the 11th.

Query: why wasn’t Jonathan Paelbon in this game? The Nats’ 11th inning rally came against the dregs of the Philly pen. Doesn’t one think that, in a jam in a tie game in extra innings, the Phillies’ best relief pitcher would have made it way more likely that the Philly hitters would get another shot if he were in the game?

We’ll never know, I guess, because it would seem that Charlie Manuel and his post-ejection designees are under strict orders to only use Papelbon in save situations. The dude now qualifies for two positions in most fantasy leagues: closer and spectator.

But that’s the Phillies’ problem.  For the Nats, they took one small step on their way to prominence: they took back their park and won a game the likes of which, in the past, they so often lost.  And I don’t think it’s hyperbole or premature to say that if they take this series, they have taken a big step forward in their history.

Heady times for the Nats. Filled with … Natitude.

  1. kvanhorn87 - May 5, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    Both sides should try to be unbiased here and both acknowledge the absurdity of only 22k at Bryce Harper’s debut and mid 30 yesterday. There is no valid reason why yesterday wasn’t sold out. Have some pride. If they would have sold tickets to people outside relatively local zip Codes we would have been willing to help.

    • 18thstreet - May 5, 2012 at 8:33 AM

      It’s not sold out because it’s overpriced.

    • ocho - May 5, 2012 at 10:01 AM

      Lets see, baseball had been missing in the Nations capital for decades leaving an entire generation of Washingtonians w/o baseball, the team had back to back 100 loss seasons as recently as 2009, and the Caps hosted game 3 of the playoffs on his Bryce’s debut. As Davey said, winning will fill the seats…if the Nats are competing for a playoff spot in September and only 22k show up for a game then you might have a legitimate gripe.

  2. djm426 - May 5, 2012 at 7:56 AM

    Natitude is stupid,stop trying to bring meaning to your team.ur not phillies rival,that game was like world series for u n just a boring bus trip for phillies

  3. garryjercia - May 5, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    Yeah, way to take the park back guys. You just missed your chance to up the sellout streak to 3.

  4. mungman69 - May 5, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    Let’s face it, the Nats don’t have a fan base. Why, I dunno. You would have thought that the stadium would have been packed.
    I don’t know what game that usher was at but there were more Phillies fans than Nat fans.

  5. dawglb - May 5, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    Mr. Undsputed, you are right! Money does not buy championships. ‘Cause that was a whole lotta money the Nats paid Jayson Werth…… And it will not bring them a championship of any kind.

    • 18thstreet - May 5, 2012 at 9:46 AM

      Yes, the Phillies have been a model of thrift.

      • evanwins - May 5, 2012 at 1:09 PM

        Maybe not thrifty…but very successful, as both a business and a team.

        How ’bout the Nats? can you say the same?

  6. bleed4philly - May 5, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Kendrick vs Strasburg = you had to have that game, and you would’ve lost had qualls not throw the same effing pitch 7 straight times.

    • 18thstreet - May 5, 2012 at 9:47 AM

      Very objective. If not for the stuff that happened, a different outcome.

  7. bleed4philly - May 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    Not to mention the phillies got robbed 3 times in the 7th inning.

  8. undsputed - May 5, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Let’s stay away from one individual example at the risk of someone using it to mislead others. Here you go…. team payrolls, start of the season:

    Read the top carefully. Analyze it.

  9. kvanhorn87 - May 5, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Haha one of your own ushers says the attendance was 3-1 Nats fans! Where else would this be a source of pride??

  10. kvanhorn87 - May 5, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Ochoa, the number 1 prospect in years (positional player) deserves more than 22000. Especially when you figure there are general baseball fans who probably showed up for his debut

  11. simon94022 - May 5, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    DC looks like they are catching the Spirit of 1924. Nice to see.

  12. pbsenerchia - May 5, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    LOL Phillies.

  13. jaymidd - May 7, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Natitude? Seriously? Thats the dumbest tag line ever! And i live in DC. If youre gonna go with that, why not just go with Gnatitude, since they bug you to death or how bout ratitude, since there are nothing but rats up in the bleachers in the outfield. Natitude….get the f outta here. Its gonna be funny when they come tumbling back down to earth in the greater loss column…then they can change it to gratitude for for ripping fans off trying to get them to believe this sorry teams was actually going somewhere. Puhleeze.

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