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It's okay to feel bad for the Nationals

It's been a tough year for Nationals fans.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

I guess it's been a rough part of a month for Nationals fans. Here they thought they could come out and stomp the rest of the league with the rotation they bought and their lineup full of injured starters and dangerous criminals. But they stumbled out of the gate, and fans are upset. The ones who pay attention to baseball before August are, anyway.

After all, Nationals fans, having struggled so valiantly with a bad team for under ten years, know what it's like to suffer. The World Series favorites this year, it's easy to get excited about baseball in our nation's capitol. At least, it was - a week into the season, we had a large enough sample size (seven games, most of which without the team at full strength) to adequately judge their performance.

And what's the conclusion? Well, fans already need to be coddled into feeling better, and they've also already given up on the Washington defense (which has committed six errors, leaving only *gasp* seven teams, including the Phillies, with more!). It's a shockingly desperate play from one of the most loyal fan bases in the sport - which again, has only existed for ten years at the most. They've naturally turned to lashing out at their betters, as Scott Allen did on DC Sports Bog.

"There may be hope for Phillies fans yet," Allen snarled on his blog a few weeks back, as his family begged him to come out for a feeding.

"NEVER," he replied, slamming the door to the little room under the stairs, and the clacking of his keyboard keys echoed through the paper-thin walls of their terrible house.

He took issue with an adult Phillies fan trying to convince a child to throw back a Bryce Harper home run. It took us a few years in Philly, but we finally now know that doing so does not actually nullify the preceding homer. However, a lot of fans would agree it's a therapeutic gesture born out of frustration. Others might say it's just what's known as a "dumb thing." Either way, who cares?

Allen cared.

The kid, perhaps realizing the stupidity of throwing back a home run ball hit by a future Hall of Famer, even one who happens to play for a division rival, wasn't having any of it. He just looked at the guy.

Forget it, man. Get your own ball.

A powerful moment, documented for the national archives. The Nats have mustered the will to win three entire games thus far, but this forthcoming Nationals series is a chance for them to finally make a statement by beating the Phillies, one of the projected worst teams in the sport, something they failed for the most part to do mere days ago.

Good luck, I suppose - sounds like that fan base is hanging by a thread. Meanwhile, Phillies fans are happy to just take in a game this year, not involving themselves in any of that well-documented Mid-Atlantic hostility.