Yesterday's game was a rare single-admission day/sorta-day-sorta-night doubleheader. Over 6+ hours today, the Phillies played 18 innings of baseball of varying quality. But each game can be distilled down to one single fact.
Game 1: Nationals 3, Phillies 2
FACT: Jeff Francoeur is an incredible human being
It is on the capable back of Jeff Francoeur that the Phillies had the chance to win, and it is by his hand that they proceeded to lose.
In the second inning, Frenchy hit a solo home run, which was the only scoring that would happen until the top of the fifth. And it's in the top of the fifth that Frenchy made a play that will be on everyone's "whoopsie" list at the end of the season. And perhaps until the end of baseball as we know it. Behold. Behold!
So let's start from the beginning. The ball is waaaay out of his reach, so he has to run for it. Then he can't pick it up cleanly and misses it and has to move back to actually pick up the ball. And then his hand yells "NNNOOOOOOO OH GOD NO DON'T MAKE ME THROW THAT BALLLLL NOOOOOO [faints dead away]". It's like his hand forgets how to be a hand for a minute.
He's terrible but I can't not love him. He's just delightful and I can't help myself. He just did that weird thing and I still think he's the bees knees. He's like the Bob's Big Boy of baseball.
It looks like Frenchy! That right there! Put a Phillies hat on him and send him to the ballpark!
The Phillies lost by one run, and while we don't know what would have happened if Frenchy had made that play and his hand hadn't vomited the ball, that play turned a double into a triple, and the next batter tied the game.
Game 2: Phillies 8, Nationals 5
Fact: The Nationals hate Tanner Roark (probably)
Tanner Roark got absolutely Roarked yesterday (please forgive me for that). And I think that Nationals hate him. Their rotation is apparently so stacked that they can't find room in their rotation for a pitcher who started 31 games and pitched 198 2/3 innings with a 2.85 ERA last year. So he's been pitching out of the bullpen, and didn't know if he'd be starting game 2 until he wasn't used in game 1. That seems... cruel? Unfair? Super dumb? A waste of a resource?
Roark was tagged for eight runs on 12 hits in game 2, with one walk and no strikeouts. And almost every Phillies player got in on the action. Maikel Franco, Domonic Brown, and Cody Asche each had two hits. Odubel Herrera had three. Cesar Hernandez had four (four!) hits, and is now hitting .271. Severino Gonzalez even had a hit! In fact, the only starter to not have a hit in game two was Carlos Ruiz. (womp womp)
Gonzalez did about half as bad as Roark. Four runs on six hits with just one walk and seven strikeouts. He also allowed two home runs. Thankfully, the Phillies came to win. After batting around and putting up four runs in the second inning, they did the same thing in the fourth inning.
So the Phillies split the doubleheader, and it's tough to be unhappy about good pitching from Kevin Correia and good hitting from the offense, even if they didn't happen in the same game. And most importantly, Pete Mackanin has his first win as interim manager.
Tonight, the Phillies face Milwaukee in the last home series before the All-Star Game. And before that, the Phillies will be announcing the new team president. Oh the times, they are a-changin'.
Yup, that's about right.