WASHINGTON– Oh boy, what a sweet, sweet victory the Nationals will feel if they clinch a wild card berth with a certain Philadelphia Phillies right fielder either on the field or in the dugout when the playoff spot becomes official later this week barring a complete meltdown by the Nats.
Bryce Harper might have to face something he never envisioned when he signed with the Phillies in late February: watching the Nationals, his former team, celebrate their own success on his former home field right in front of his own eyes.
If you ask any Nationals fan obviously one of the top goals for the ballclub was to make the postseason. But secretly Nats fans were wishing for one thing only, no matter the outcome in October: make the playoffs and make sure Bryce Harper, the $330 million traitor, stays out of postseason play.
The Nationals magic number to clinch a wild card spot currently sits at three games with seven games to play while the free-falling Chicago Cubs continue to shoot themselves in the foot and help the Nationals out by losing six straight as the Nats currently play through their own woes.
Entering Tuesday’s action, the Nationals could clinch a spot in the wild card game by sweeping today’s doubleheader against the Phillies plus a Cubs loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Washington play four more games against the Phillies this week so playing.
While it seems pretty unlikely that all three games will turn in the Nationals favor they can also eliminate the Phillies from postseason play by just winning one of the two games they play against Philly tomorrow which would represent a victory in itself. Then Bryce can wave goodbye to the Phillies postseason hopes for the 2019 season and start gearing up to hear more boos coming from Phillies fans during next season.
One thing remains on the backburner of the Nationals’ goals this season and in the next 12 seasons ahead: win a World Series before Bryce Harper does. After that the Phillies can win as many as they want.
Chris is a student currently attending the nation’s most prominent public communications schools at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. You can follow him on Twitter @HironsChris and connect with him on LinkedIn.