I started my recap just after the ninth inning began.
Jonathan Papelbon nearly coughing up a 3-0 lead in the ninth is entirely on me. And also on him. But I'm the one that will apologize for it. Papelbon will just make his anus-mouth face and talk about guns and fundamentals and the unworthiness of Yasiel Puig.
But this game wasn't about Jonathan Papelbon and the batshit insanity that comes out of his anus-mouth.
This game was about John Lannan. After an atrocious start last week that saw him give up four runs on 11 hits in just five innings, Lannan bounced back in a big way. He gave up no runs and just four hits in eight solid innings, with two walks and four strikeouts. He was in command the whole time, getting the majority of his outs on ground balls. Lannan hasn't pitched eight full innings in a game since 2009. (He did pitch 7 2/3 innings in August 2010.) To me, Lannan usually comes across as a big sack of beige mediocrity, so it's great to see him have a start like this. It's nice to know he *can* have a start like this, still.
The Phillies did the majority of their scoring in the first inning -- that is to say two whole runs. Ben Revere and Jimmy Rollins each had a hit to start of the first, and Revere and Rollins executed and gorgeous double steal. After Chase Utley struck out (he went 0-for-4 tonight, though that was his only K), Dom Brown -- finally hitting fourth -- hit a little ricocheting dribbler that failed to go foul and scored a run with him safe at first. Michael Young then walked to load up the bases against Dan Haren. After a truly terrible at-bat from Delmon Young, Darin Ruf took a ball on a 3-2 count and Haren walked in a run, giving the Phillies an early 2-0 lead.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Ben Revere's big night. The adorable speedster went 3-for-5 with two RBI, and he's now hitting and even .300. Jimmy Rollins hit a single in the sixth inning that scored Revere (bringing the score to 3-0), and he dove into home so hard that he upended himself and executed a rather acrobatic backwards somersault into a handstand. Sarge called it an upsie-do. Or an upsey-do. Regardless of what you call it, it was yet another endearing thing that Ben Revere did tonight.
All hail John Lannan, conqueror of Nationals.