Feb 19, 2012, 10:30 PM EDT
Associated Press photo
Brad Lidge joins the Nationals after four seasons in the Phillies' bullpen.
VIERA, Fla. — For three seasons, from 2008-10, Brad Lidge and his Phillies teammates would take the field against the Nationals and have every reason to believe they'd emerge victorious. Such is life when you play 18 times a year for the perennial division champs against the division dregs.
"You don't take anybody lightly in the major leagues, you don't take anyone for granted," Lidge said. "But at the same time, you felt like if you didn't win a series against them, you did something wrong."
At some point in 2011, though, that vibe changed. Knowing they could no longer enjoy a cakewalk over the Nationals, the Phillies realized they were in for a dogfight every time the two clubs met. And they realized the challenge wasn't about to get any easier.
"Now, it's different," Lidge said. "Now, in order to win a series against the Nationals, you better be at your absolute best. That changed. I really saw it last year. You could see it was kind of moving in thatRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m. TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Depleted Nationals lineup shut out by Marlins
- Nationals can't fight back against Marlins, lose 3-0
- Werth out but says ankle sprain isn't serious
- Strasburg takes mound for big start vs. Marlins
- Zimmermann returns to form in dominant start
- Around the NL East: Which team will make a big splash via trade?
- After meltdown, Nationals must bounce back
- Werth hopes to play Tuesday after spraining ankle
- Nationals surrender four runs in 9th, fall 7-6 to Marlins
- Span proving skeptics wrong with summer surge