Jayson Werth left the Phils and signed with the Nats, which began Washington’s rise in the NL East and the Phils fall.

By Mary Cunningham

Yes, it is only Harrisburg, a backwater in the battle for the NL East’s hearts and ears.

But when a radio station in the Pennsylvania capital gives up carrying the Phillies game in favor of the Washington Nationals games, the sound you heard was:

A domino falling.

Dave Sottile, of PennLive.com, reports:

Ron Giovanniello, regional vice president of Cumulus Media Pennsylvania, said Monday the company’s new Harrisburg-based Sports Radio 96.5 FM will carry the Nats instead of the Philadelphia Phillies as part of a one-year deal.

“Our agreement was up and we made the decision last week to part ways with the Phillies and flip to the Nationals,” Giovanniello said. “Nothing against the Phillies, but clearly the Nationals are a team on the rise. They won the NL East last year and are picked to win it again this year.

To be fair, Harrisburg is also home to the Nats’ Double-A affiliate, so in that sense it’s a bit of a natural transition. Still, from the Phillies’ standpoint, losing a station to the Nats despite being closer and in the same state as the affiliate in question is at least a little embarrassing.

The Phillies are coming off a last-place finish and seem bound for the same fate in 2015. The Nationals, meantime, are coming off a 96-win campaign and not long ago inked Max Scherzer.

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