A joyous celebration turned tragic after a tsunami struck Nationals Park, killing thousands. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Final Score: Phillies 2, Nationals DIVISION CHAMPS

Dame of the Game:

Everyone! Even the ones who had a terrible game which is most of them!

Shame of the Game:

There’s nothing shameful about winning the division. Normally I’d still give this one to the Phillies, but I’m in a good mood.


The conclusion of this game was beautiful. It was the perfectly emotionally satisfying way to finish the Nats divisional quest. I would have it no other way.

Now, some might say that it would have been more satisfying to actually win a game at home to clinch the division. Wrong. That would have been fun but meaningless, just a 97th Curly W in a near-endless tangle of curls and u’s and victory.

This was so much better. This was the Phillies winning a game at Nationals Park and the crowd full of Nats fans cheering. The consummate act of condescension. Each triumphant clap seemed to say “aw, the wittle bittle phiwwies got a win. How cute! It’s nice that even total failures can have some small victories to keep them from just giving up on existence.”

Meanwhile, after the final out, the Phillips wandered listlessly over the pitchers mound, forcing the kind of smiles onto their faces that you’d get if you were taking yearbook photos at a federal prison. They touched their hands together in a facsimile of what would have been high-fives if any one of them felt anything like actual joy.

And then there were the Nats, exultant in defeat. Their debauched champagne-drenching and drinking seemed all the more extravagant because it followed a loss. Like a Roman Emperor at the height of his power, the Nats were ostentatious in displaying their wealth of wins. What is one puny loss in the face of the vast power of Natitude? The Nats have so far outpaced their rivals that such trivial concerns as “regular season games” are beneath them.

The ending put the Phillies in their rightful, lowly place. And it was glorious.

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