Phils racking up division titles by beating up on little guys

If trends hold true, the key to winning the NL East is beating Washington. That’s good news for the Phillies, since they treat the lowly Nationals like a punching bag — and the rival Braves can’t keep up.

When asked what the Braves’ record against the Nats is since the Phillies’ division series championship run commenced in 2007, Atlanta catcher Brian McCann guessed.

“I would say around .500,” McCann said.

Pretty close. The Braves are 39-41 against the Nationals since 2007.

“We just never seem to play that well against the Nationals,” McCann said. “I don’t know why. That’s just the way it’s been, and it’s hurt us.”

The Phillies are an astounding 57-22 against Washington since 2007. Those extra wins have been the difference between winning and losing division titles.

“Every game counts no matter what anyone thinks,” Shane Victorino said. “We have to beat the Nationals just like we have to beat the Braves or anyone else. You get credit for the win, and the wins add up.”

In three of the last four seasons, the Braves have finished six, seven and five games behind the Phillies in the NL East race.

“That’s been the difference between us and the Phillies,” McCann said. “But that’s the Phillies for you. They play well against everybody. But, apparently, they really play well against the Nationals.”

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