Most of today’s 6-5 loss to the Cardinals was depressing. But there was a little bit at the end that wasn’t depressing, and it redeemed at least some of what came before.
It began well enough. Odubel Herrera got a single to start the game, and he moved to second when Daniel Nava singled, and scored when Tommy Joseph singled. But with two runners on (one in scoring position) and less then two outs, the Phillies couldn’t score again and ended the inning up 1-0.
In the second inning, I was shocked because the Phillies scored a second run on starter Adam Wainwright. Andrew Knapp singled and Freddy Galvis drew a walk, and after a forceout moved Knapp to third, he scored when Odubel Herrera doubled. So there it was. Another run.
So things were fine for 4 1⁄2 innings. Aaron Nola was throwing too many pitches, but he’d held the Cardinals at bay. I heard the laundry beep, and I went to get it. It took me five minutes to get the clothes out of the dryer, move the clothes in the washer to the dryer, and put the final load of laundry into the washer. Five minutes. When I got back, The Phillies were losing 3-2. Aaron Nola allowed a double and a walk, and then gave up a three-run home run to Dexter Fowler. I’m glad I missed it.
Nola didn’t come back out to pitch the sixth inning, and Joaquin Benoit replaced him. Benoit just came off of the disabled list, and you might have been able to tell from the two runs he gave up in 2⁄3 of an inning. They came on three hits, all singles. Edubray Ramos and Pat Neshek held it together until the eighth inning, when Hector Neris took over. And he gave up a single and a run-scoring double with — you guessed it! — two outs.
Daniel Nava hit a homer in the seventh inning, the first run they had scored since Odubel’s double in the second. And by the time we made it to the top of the ninth still losing 6-3, I was just about ready to turn off the game and get on with my day.
But the Phillies surprised me in the ninth inning. They showed a little fight and tried to stage a comeback. Knapp led off the inning (which was pitched by Seung Hwan Oh) with a single, putting him at 2-for-3 with a walk on the day. Freddy Galvis followed that with a single of his own. And then? More singles! Odubel stroked his third hit of the day to score Knapp, and then Howie Kendrick singled to score Galvis.
They came so close. Nava, who struck out before Kendrick’s hit, was the victim of a hilariously awful “strike” call that was a good distance above the strike zone. The home plate umpire was absolutely terrible all day, but it was especially obvious, and harmful, during the Phillies’ attempted comeback.
They really were so close to tying it up. But Tommy Joseph flied out to end the inning, and the game. So they came up just short. But it was nice to see them put up a fight and refuse to go quietly into that good night. Or day. You know what I mean.