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
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.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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.
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