The Washington Nationals and their fans are ready to take on the five-time division champion Philadelphia Phillies, especially with rookie phenom Bryce Harper on the home team’s side.
This weekend, the Nationals hope to pack the stands with their fans as they play the heavily, fan-followed Phillies. Back in February, the Nationals blocked single ticket sales to anyone outside D.C., Maryland and Virginia in an initiative called “Take Back the Park.”
The team’s website says in past games against the Phillies “almost nothing but Phils fans” turned out.
“I think it’s good,” one Nationals fan said. “Last year, we felt like we were at a Phillies home game.”
Nationals Chief Operating Officer Andy Feffer added, “This is our opportunity as a community to come together to support the hometown team.”
However, fans of the division rival seem to be fired up.
Phillies fans have already been spotted around town. Teresa Mallon and Rob Giamboy made the three hour trip Thursday night to make sure they were in town for the Friday game.
“Obviously, we're defying the fact that Phillies fans are not supposed to be here, and we're excited for the game,” Mallon said.
One thing fans from both teams can agree on – it’s going to be a great series.
For the first time, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper will both be on the Nationals’ starting lineup.