On this night, Jonathan Papelbon's hands stayed above the equator.
After finishing off the Phils' 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night, Papelbon shook hands with teammates and celebrated the team's 73rd win of the season. It was his first time back since the infamous "crotch grab heard 'round the world," an incident that landed Paps a seven-game suspension by Major League Baseball.
So, how did it go?
Jonathan Papelbon enters to a loud chorus of Boos. Wonder if he'll respond this time?— jon johnson (@jonjohnsonwip) September 27, 2014
Well, Papelbon didn't grab anything, if that's what you mean. He worked around a one-out double from B.J. Upton to record his 39th save of the season. He then left the field with his teammates and didn't place either of his hands anywhere near his crotchal region the entire time he was out there.
This is progress.
The Phillies actually did a terrific job storming back from an early 4-0 hole. The Braves scored two in the first off starter Jerome Williams, then added two more in the third. Jerry's ERA now stands at 4.77 on the season. However, the Phils didn't want to hear anything about this being a meaningless game.
They scored one in the fifth inning on a Ben Revere fielder's choice, then three in the sixth on a Cody Asche RBI double, a Freddy Galvis RBI single and a wild pitch by Ervin Santana. The Phils then tallied the go-ahead run in the seventh on a Marlon Byrd RBI groundout.
Luis Garcia and Ken Giles both pitched an inning of scoreless relief, setting up Papelbon's return to Philadelphia for the first time since his "wardrobe malfunction."
Folks, there's just two games left.