On Tuesday, baseball fans watched as the hyped-up return of Bryce Harper to Washington D.C came to pass. As expected, Nationals’ Park was packed full of angry Nats fans who came to rain down the boos on the All-Star right fielder.
Nats fans were seen wearing clown outfits, terribly edited Bryce Harper #34 jerseys (there was lots of badly placed duct tape) and there were plenty of Phillies fans there as well. Exactly eight buses full, to be exact. As the Nats fans tried to keep the home boos raining upon the Phillies, the fans from just up the road stormed in, and protected the All-Star right fielder by taking over the right field seats, just behind Harper, as they cheered all night long.
As the game began, the Phillies already got things rolling in the second inning with a solo home run deep into left field by the patented eight-hole hitter, third basemen Maikel Franco. Not only was the offense on fire early, but Phillies pitcher, Zach Eflin, was putting on a show. In only five innings pitched, Eflin only gave up three hits, and struck out the Washington Nationals batters nine times. As Eflin only got better up until manager Gabe Kapler took him out, the offense became a nightmare for Nationals veteran pitcher Max Scherzer, who after Franco’s home run, proceeded to give up an RBI to Jean Segura, which blew open the game into a 5-0 Phils lead in the sixth inning.
The Nationals… saw their social media accounts blowing up about how many Nats fans were already leaving their own stadium.
This was the last gasp for Nationals fans at the park, who saw their social media accounts blowing up about how many Nats fans were already leaving their own stadium, which had become overrun by Phillies fans and became known as “Citizens Bank Park South”. For the Phillies fans, they got to witness the true icing on the cake, as just two innings later in the top of the eighth, Bryce Harper squashed the Nationals’ night with a two-run shot deep into right field, where the Phillies fans jumped and screamed in celebration and delight as the Nationals Park was empty of Nationals fans. As the Phillies and the many fans who showed up to cheer them on celebrated, unfortunately it would only be that night where they’d have that moment of joy.
As the series progressed into the second game that Wednesday afternoon, Phillies ace Aaron Nola had the worst start of his 2019 season, giving up six runs early in the ballgame, causing Kapler to take him out. As the game moved along, the Phillies attempted to comeback when left-fielder Andrew McCutchen made a crucial RBI double that cleared the bases late in the eighth inning, which threw the Phils back into the lead at 7-6. Unfortunately, things only got worse for the Phils as they committed three game-clinching errors as well as putting in relief pitcher David Robertson, who ended the game in a series of bad pitches that ultimately cost them the series sweep of the Nationals.
Jeffrey Babcock is a second-year student majoring in Communications. JB884128@wcupa.edu