Things started off about as well as you'd expect for a game in which the Phillies were one win away from reaching .500 and also were starting every available triple A player on the roster.
BABIP struck early, allowing two "singles" to squirt through the infield instead of being double play balls, including Dustin Pedroia's fourth straight first inning RBI (and 39th two-strike hit of the year, the psycho). Then with two men on, Jarrod Saltalongnameia blooped a double and suddenly, hey, Jonathan Pettibone had given up more runs in a start than ever before: Four.
"The earlier you let them score, the longer you have to catch up," Larry Andersen said.
"That's certainly true," I replied, mistaking "catch up" for "drink a lot of this whiskey I found."
The Phillies came roaring back, and I don't mean it sarcastically this time. Cesar Hernandez reached on his first Major League hit the next inning, and Delmon Young blasted them both home with his inaugural Citizens Bank Park dinger.
The Phillies' Domsday Device laced a single, and Larry Andersen then suggested that the Phillies hit a second home run in order to tie the game. They did not, and a continuously aggressive Brown was thrown out trying to steal second.
Unlike the Phillies, the Red Sox avoided 1-2-3 innings by getting on base, BABIPing like maniacs, stealing bases, but thankfully, somehow, not scoring runs. Pettibone was leaving the ball up a lot, refusing to hold runners on, and relying on his defense, which is inadvisable, but at the moment, harmless.
In the fifth, Jimmy Rollins and Domonic Brown reached on a walk and a single, and Kevin Frandsen controlled himself enough to draw a walk of his own. That left the grand slam up to Erik Kratz, who was suffering under the weight of everyone collectively thinking he was going to do one thing in particular (which he did).
Then tension was palpable.
Red Sox starter - making his first start, ever - Franklin Morales almost chucked a wild pitch that would have landed into the 400 level had Saltamatlockia not gotten in the way. Then Kratz immediately swung at the next pitch as if he had watched that last one and thought, "Geeze, can't let another one of those go by."
Then he grounded into a double play. It was dumb. So, so, so bad and dumb.
Onward came the bullpen.
Jeremy Horst appeared first. He gave up a home run to Jonny Gomes to make it 5-2.
Horst then hit Jacoby Ellsbury who, like every other time he reached base, immediately stole second base. Bill Miller, the home plate umpire, sensed danger after the plunking and warned everybody. The two calm, soundless benches tried to contain themselves.
Classic Jeremy Horst. So aimlessly vengeful.
Then Ellsbury stole third. Jacoby Ellsbury stole every base tonight (5). He even snuck out of the stadium with a couple of them.
Nothing came of it though, and Horst was allowed past security again in the seventh, giving up a lead off home run to David Ortiz this time.
That was nothing, though, because after a breezy Michael Stutes inning, Chad Durbin thundered into the game and with him brought the thunder of the gods. The Red Sox didn't even waste time laughing patronizingly when he entered the game, they just set about touching him for singles, doubles, and RBI groundouts, until it was 9-2 and honestly, Chad, everybody just wants to go home.
So finally, the Sox relinquished, and the Phillies did their line out/strike out thing in the bottom of the ninth (Kevin Frandsen hit a double that, boy; really would have been handy a couple of at-bats ago) and everybody got in their cars and yelled at their families.