"Revenge is a dish best served to Jonathan Papelbon" -- me, just now
It doesn't matter to me that the Phillies lost to the Nationals 8-7 in 11 innings. They could have 4589-7 as long as the bottom of the 10th inning happened exactly the same way it did tonight. But I'll get to that. Oh, will I ever get to that.
The story of tonight's game can be told in three innings. Well, six half-innings. And the half-innings don't all match. Just bear with me here.
Top of the first — The Harbinger
Aaron Nola gave up a home run to Anthony Rendon on tonight's very first pitch. It was a sign of things to come.
Top of the fifth — The Meltdown
Nola almost got out of this inning unscathed. He came within a hair's breadth more than once, though it was the final time that really hurt. Three batters into the inning, Nola had struck out two and allowed just a single. He needed just one more out. Unfortunately, he wouldn't get it for five more batters. Nola allowed singles to Yunel Escobar and Bryce Harper before Jayson Werth came to the plate. Nola threw him two curveballs, both strikes. He was 0-2 on Werth with two outs, so close to getting himself out of trouble. So very, very close. Of course, Werth launched the 0-2 pitch into the far left field stands for a grand slam, because sometimes we live in a baseball movie and the Nationals are the heroes. The score was 6-2 Nats.
Bottom of the sixth — The Comeback
In this inning, the Phillies were the heroes of the baseball movie. A double and two singles scored one run, and then Cody Asche cleared the bases with a three-run homer to tie the whole thing up.
In the immortal words of Larry Anderson, "He ambasched that one." Scott Franzke replied with "Ambasche", and I loved them both even more than I did before.
Top of the tenth — The Blowing
I'm sure Dalier Hinojosa is a nice guy. But tonight I hated him. With one out, Werth hit a solo shot off of him to give the Nationals the lead. That home run is why I had to watch Jonathan Papelbon tonight. Fun fact: Werth hit two home runs tonight, but coming into this game he'd hit only seven all season. That would probably be a funner fact if Werth had hit tonight's home runs against another team.
Bottom of the tenth — THE HAPPIEST I'VE BEEN ALL SEASON
I'M NOT EVEN KIDDING. I CLAPPED GIDDILY LIKE A YOUNG CHILD.
I didn't think there was a chance in hell that the Phillies would be able to hit Jonathan Papelbon. I was sure the game was over. I'VE NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY TO BE WRONG. On a 1-1 pitch, Freddy Galvis lined the baseball into the stands in right field, tying the game and giving Jonathan Papelbon his first blown save in exactly a year. That's right -- Jonathan Papelbon's last blown save came with the Phillies on September 14, 2014, ALSO KNOWN AS THE PAPELCROTCH GAME. ONE YEAR AGO TODAY PAPELBON BLEW A SAVE AND THEN "ADJUSTED" HIMSELF IN FRONT OF A CROWD OF BOOING FANS. THAT'S POETRY RIGHT THERE.
Papelbon can talk all the shit he wants. What matters to me is that he came back to Citizens Bank Park, insulted everyone, and was RIGHTEOUSLY OWNED. GOD IT FEELS SO GOOD. What's even better is that the Nationals are going to miss the postseason, and Papelbon, who constantly whined about wanting to be traded and finally got his wish, is going to miss it with them. I'M FILLED WITH EFFERVESCENT JOY. I WISH I COULD BOTTLE THIS FEELING AND BATHE IN IT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. INSTEAD, I'M GOING TO WATCH THIS CLIP OF FREDDY GALVIS OWNING JONATHAN PAPELBON OVER AND OVER UNTIL I FALL DOWN.
Top of the eleventh — The Losing
After Papelbon blew the save, I nearly turned the game off. I didn't really care at all if the Phillies won or lost, which is terrible but true. Paps blew the save. I didn't need to see anything else! Maybe ever! But that's not how baseball works. Luis Garcia pitched the 11th, and it didn't go well. He allowed a lead-off walk, which scored after a single and a fielder's choice. Adam Loewen managed to get the final two outs without making the game any worse, and the Phillies lost after going quietly in the bottom half of the inning.
Yeah, the Phillies lost, but JONATHAN PAPELBON BLEW THE SAVE AND IT WAS GLORIOUS.