From the get-go, things seemed off tonight.
Dom Brown threw Bryce Harper out at the plate in the first, but replay showed he might have been safe.
Chase Utley caused Darin Ruf to drop a foul pop-up, then impaled him with the same look he gives promo directors when they say, "We're just gonna get one more."
Chase Utley had his third error by the third inning. Darin Ruf added another in the fourth on a wonky Michael Young throw across the diamond, and the Phillies were on pace for nine errors.
Somehow, they resulted in zero runs from the Nationals, as each was paired with a close play, double play, or missed call to alleviate the shenanigans (Dom's throw home in the first, a slick DP in the second, Chooch throwing Suzuki out at third and Darin Ruf being unafraid to throw to second for a twin killing in the fourth).
So much had gone sideways it was unbelievable the game was still scoreless. Well, not on the Phillies' end. They were plowing through their halves of innings like a truck with no brakes or plate discipline.
Meanwhile, in Clearwater, some journalist had infuriated the gods.
It's not very often your game gets cancelled because lightning hits the press box pre game— Hoby Milner (@HobyMilner) July 12, 2013
Back in Philly, Ben Revere (of the .444 BA with RISP and two outs) came to the plate in the fifth with Chooch freshly sacrificed to second, and knocked him in with one of those singles he's been so good for lately. That was as far as the Phillies could stretch the rally, and so that seemed to put thing squarely on Kyle Kendrick's shoulders for the remainder of the evening.
Kyle threw well, all game long. He chewed through seven innings, allowing a mere five hits and one run while striking out two and getting a bunch of grounders.
"Tonight I was a little jacked," Kyle explained, post game.
Quickly, the Nationals tied the game on a Bryce Harper triple + sac fly (Ryan Zimmerman hit the sac fly, Harper did not knock himself in from third), and Delmon Young looked bad not fielding it. It was all made better in the seventh, when Darin Ruf doubled, got sacrificed over to third by Chooch, bringing up Kevin Frandsen who flared--
@ryanlawrence21 flare?— Kevin Frandsen (@KevinFrandsen) July 12, 2013
...uh ... kn... knocked? Knocked.
--who knocked in Ruiz with a double.
Antonio Bastardo came in and pushed through a 1-2-3 eighth. Chase Utley socked a double, scampered to third on a sac fly from Dom Brown, and got a monstrous jump on a Michael Young ground out to score and make that worrisome "2" a slightly less worrisome "3."
Jonathan Papelbon wrapped up the ninth, and the third straight series win.
Now let's put a hole in these Sox and get out of here.