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I flip my Herrera back and forth: Phillies 5, Rays 4

MOVIE PITCH: Odubel Herrera and Jonathan Papelbon have to drive across the country to find the antique teapot that will make them millionaires AND SWITCH THEIR BODIES BACK! I call it: Odubeled Up.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies won! That's the most important thing here, right? That the Phillies won 5-4 in 10 innings, and have won back to back series for the first time this season? That's the most important thing. We can all feel good about that.


This was not a good baseball game. For either team. I mean, woof. Here are just a few things that the Phillies side of this contest featured.

GIDP at inopportune times: The Phillies managed to load the bases with no outs in the bottom of the first inning. It was a gift from the baseball gods. And then Ryan Howard came to the plate and grounded into a double play. A run scored, but the damage could have been so much greater. Freddy Galvis grounded into one in the eighth inning, but more on that later.

An inning so short you could have missed it while sneezing: That honor goes to the bottom of the third inning, which went so quickly that this is what I have in my notes: "Bot 3: Got up to get two printouts from the copier when Andres Blanco started to bat, came back as the game went into commercial. I guess I didn't miss much."

Silly non-error that makes you look like you're juggling a hot potato: The Rays scored a knot of three runs in the fifth inning, and it all started with this play. Evan Longoria doubled off the right field wall, over Cody Asche's head, and then in and out of his hands a few times. A run probably would have scored anyway, but if Asche hadn't juggled it like a piece of flubber then maybe Longoria doesn't make it to second base, where he'd easily score from when Logan Forsythe doubled during the next at-bat.

Repeated fire-playing: Adam Morgan could not keep his hands away from the figurative flame of throwing crappy pitches. He'd get himself into trouble, and then he'd get himself right out. All this fire-playing resulted in a lot of pitches being thrown in a short amount of time, and a lot of hits from the Rays. Morgan lasted only 4 1/3 innings, and in that time the Rays had managed nine hits and three runs while Morgan threw 80 pitches.

Strike zone amnesia: Justin De Fratus came into the game to replace Adam Morgan in the fifth inning, and proceeded to forget where the strike zone was. He walked the first batter he faced, and then he allowed a single to James Loney. That single scored Morgan's third run. De Fratus pitched the sixth with more control problems, but managed to prevent any more runs from scoring.

An at-bat so bad it inadvertently caused extra innings: In the eighth inning, the Phillies had the bases loaded and one out. Freddy Galvis came to the plate and proceeded to have a crappy at-bat that resulted in an inning-ending double play. But before it was a double play, it was a run-scoring fielder's choice that didn't actually end the inning. The play was reviewed, and then overturned. The super secret Area 51 umpiring crew in NYC (OR ARE THEY!?!?!) decided that Cody Asche was out at the plate, the Phillies didn't take the lead, and the game would continue on past 9 innings.

An offensive performance that makes you want to weep: Not in the good way. Ryan Howard went 0-for-5, and while he didn't strike out, he did a few other things that sucked. You've read about his bases-loaded GIDP in the first inning, but that wasn't all. He also came to the plate with the bases loaded in the second inning and hit a liner to the outfield for the third out. His next three at-bats went: groundout, flyout, lineout. But on the bright side, he's putting the ball in play!

However, that's not all. Let us not forget those whose competence rings loud and true like a bell. The lone salmon swimming upstream against a river of questionable baseball.

Ken Giles, who got himself into and then out of trouble in the eighth inning. He walked two Rays, but induced a groundout from Evan Longoria to end the inning and preserve the tie.

Jonathan Papelbon, who pitched two scoreless innings with a flourish, and was TOTALLY READY to take an at-bat. I was really, really hoping he would. But that's Jonathan Papelbon! A team player! Always willing to help and put the team above his own needs and desires! He's so great! Please trade for him!

Maikel Franco, who is not dead and in fact well enough to pinch hit today. He didn't just pinch hit, he WALKED. He WALKED in the eighth inning and was partially responsible for the Phillies almost scoring. Oh god that's the saddest sentence ever.

Odubel Herrera, who entered the game in the bottom of the 10th inning, denying Jonathan Papelbon the chance to take an at-bat, but giving the Phillies the win. He worked a hell of an at-bat -- 11 pitches -- against Brad Boxberger and squeezed out a single to cause this.

THEY'RE ALL SO HAPPY HOW GREAT IS THAT!? Even crappy baseball can lead to wins, sometimes! I think the Phillies should seriously consider putting that on a t-shirt.

Hat tip to @dj_mosfett for the recap title.

(Author's Note: Major League Baseball can bite me for refusing to provide an embed code for all but one of the videos I linked to above. Heaven forbid they make it easy for anyone to watch this sport.)