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June Bookends: Phillies vs Nationals series preview

The Phillies are ending June with the same opponent they started with, and are in a very different place than they were.

Washington Nationals v Seattle Mariners Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

I’d like to apologize to all the horse super-fans, Smarty has been taken to the glue factory. No, seriously — he’s just not available for this series preview so you’re stuck with me for this one. Hope I live up to the standards that have been set.

With the series sweep in Chicago, the Phillies have now won two series in a row, and seven of their last eight.

Washington Nationals

Record: 32-48, last place in the NL East (21 games back)

Last time they met

The Phillies won the early-June series with stand-out performances from Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos, Ranger Suarez, and Drew Ellis (remember that guy?).

As June comes to a close, it’s clear that the series win last time was much needed. The Phillies were in dire straights but fortunately it acted as a catalyst to turn things around for the rest of June.

Since then, the Nats...

Lost the next 5 series against Arizona, Atlanta, Houston, Miami and St. Louis. Though, they have won four of their last five games.

What do the Nats have that the Phillies don’t?

Really cool city connect jerseys. Seriously, let’s take a moment to recognize the beauty of what’s arguably the best city connect uniforms in the league. Hopefully we get to see them this weekend.

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

SportsCenter Top 10

Is ESPN still doing this bit? I’m not even sure, but this play from JT Realmuto last night is definitely one of the best defensive plays by a catcher any of us have seen in a long, long time. The way he makes this look so easy in full catcher’s gear is absurd.

All Star waiting game

The starters for the 2023 All Star Game have been announced and Bryce Harper did not make the cut during the fan voting round. So, we’ll have to wait to see who gets to join Rob Thomson in Seattle. The Phils have a handful of players who could (and should) be in contention for the honor.


How many All Stars will the Phillies have this year?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    (44 votes)
  • 45%
    (51 votes)
  • 10%
    (12 votes)
  • 3%
    (4 votes)
111 votes total Vote Now

The Nats as an MCU Villain

The Mandarin

Full disclosure, the MCU villain thing is more Smarty’s area of expertise. But for continuity’s sake I’ll give it my best shot.

Spoiler alert: In the third Iron Man movie, it turns out that the villain everyone thought Tony Stark would have to face at first, the Mandarin, was just an actor. The 2023 Washington Nationals are like the Mandarin, actors just pretending to be a Major League Baseball team.

Non-Phillies thought

The NHL draft took place in Nashville this week. The Flyers had two first round picks on Wednesday. Their first selection was an absolute winner with Matvei Michkov, who has the potential to be a generational talent once he makes his way to North America.

Their second selection in the first round, Oliver Bonk, was an absolute winner for the memes. Even the Phillies had to get in on the fun.

Closing thoughts

The Phillies are now just four games behind the Marlins in the NL East, who are just six games behind their opponent this weekend, the Braves. This weekend series against the division’s worst gives the Phils the opportunity to keep chipping away at both Miami and Atlanta. Go Fish.