You wouldn't think the nail-biter at the tail end of a pair of shellackings would end in the Phillies' favor, but here we are. Bryce Harper's anti-Phillies magic can only get the Nationals so far, and they had not figured on contending with the off-the-bench prowess of Andres Blanco, nor the from-nowhere clutchness of Freddy Galvis.
Everyone who was putting up their favorite sad .gifs following the two bad losses on Friday and Saturday, acting like the team was showing its true colors after being fun to watch - that celebration, the one in which Blanco runs home screaming and flailing his helmet and Maikel Franco is still hopping on Galvis long after he's crossed the plate, that was the 2016 Phillies' true colors. They may not get to show them much right now, but they're there.
The Phillies didn't get swept by the Nationals!
Nobody wants to get swept by baseball's whiniest prissy-pants!
The Phillies ended the Nationals' winning streak!
It was up to seven games. Naturally this has really dented the confidence of Washington fans.
160-2 is still doable— Jayson Werth's Beard (@JWerthsBeard) April 17, 2016
Jonathan Papelbon had been doing okay until yesterday!
Nothing stings worse than the success of your enemies. But nothing cools that sting like getting to personally ruin an enemy's day.
Jonathan Papelbon is 1-2 with 12.27 ERA and two blown saves in four appearances vs. Phillies since they traded him to Nats.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) April 17, 2016
That Galvis' head came off Papelbon and soared over a disgruntled Jayson Werth made it even better (No, I don't dislike Werth, but I like when he's upset, he's on the Nationals). Look how happy Werth was after Bryce Harper's home run. He really thought they were going to win that game.
Jonathan Papelbon was not happy about ruining everything!
Pap's perspective: "We won the (bleeping) series, man." https://t.co/RIyIbqcTEH— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) April 18, 2016
A good bunt happened!
In the first inning of Sunday's matinee, Cesar Hernandez actually reached first base by bunting the baseball correctly!
Odubel Herrera is looking at baseballs!
So many. So many baseballs.
Ryan Howard almost hit another home run!
Howard worked a decent at-bat near the end of the game, then put the fear of god into a ball but didn't quite hit the sweet spot. Would that not have been perfect, for Howard to redeem himself after trying to steal Joe DiMaggio's identity just days ago?
Jorge Alfaro beat up on the young Nationals!
The young Phillies catcher has 17 hits in his last seven games. During Reading's 14-2 throttling of the Nationals' AA affiliate, the Harrisburg Senators, Alfaro went 3-for-4 with a triple and four RBI. He even used some of that hustle we hear so much about, rushing to first base on a weak grounder that the Harrisburg shortstop was I guess too lazy too field at normal speed.
"At that time of the game, we were up four or five runs," genuinely flummoxed Reading hitting coach Frank Cacciatore told reporters.