Aug 21, 2011, 3:53 AM EDT
Hunter Pence rounds third to resounding cheers from the Philly faithful.
The largest crowd in Nationals Park history stood and applauded in anticipation of the evening’s final out. And when the batter tapped a routine grounder and the first baseman stepped on the bag to complete the 5-0 shutout, the vast majority of those in attendance roared with approval and serenaded their triumphant team off the field.
If only all of this had been directed toward the home ballclub instead of the visitors from 134 miles up the road.
Yes, the Phillies invaded South Capitol Street once again Saturday night and pummeled the Nationals into submission. This, of course, was nothing new. The soon-to-be five-time NL East champs have been dominating their division rivals for years, and they’ve been doing it in front of their own faithful so many times, the locals have lost count.
Something about this scene, though, felt different than any previous occasion. For one thing, the announced paid attendance was 44,685, a new ballpark record that shattered the previous mark (41,985 on June 25, 2009 against the Red Sox).
Then there was the gross disparity between supporters of the two teams. As that final out was being recorded on Danny Espinosa’s groundout, the stadium remained 85 percent full, and 90 percent
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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