The Phillies don’t have a whole lot going for them right now, but they are beating up on the Nationals at the moment. The good guys have taken the first two games of their series against Washington, with Kyle Kendrick going for the sweep tonight. Another win would put the Fightins back in sole possession of second place in the NL East as well, ahead of guess who.
Even though Domonic Brown and Cliff Lee already stole his lunch money the past two days, Nats manager Davey Johnson still thinks his crew is the toughest on the block. In an interview with radio 106.7 in Washington on Wednesday, the skipper proclaimed his is the better team in this rivalry. Per the Washington Post:
“These guys like to beat us maybe as much as we like to beat them,” Johnson said of the Phillies. “But I hate to lose in this ballpark, boy, I hate to lose to the Phillies. You know, they’ve always been a great team, but we’re a better team. We need to beat these guys.”
Johnson certainly has some right to say that. The Nationals are the reigning NL East champs, and we’ve got a long way to go yet before the Braves or anybody else can claim they dethroned them. Of course, any time somebody says they’re better than the opponent across from them, they better go out and prove it or the words sort of ring hollow.
You certainly wouldn’t want to say something like that and get swept out of town in the same day.
Washington can even the season series at three a piece with a win tonight, and the two clubs will meet in four more series, so we’ll find out who’s better this year before everything is said and done. One thing seems certain, and that’s if either team is in the playoff race later in the year, this rivalry has the potential to really heat up.