“I’m gonna go right to the catch,” Pete Mackanin said to start the post game presser. But let’s start at the beginning.
Jake Thompson induced two grounders and struck out Justin Turner to end the first inning. Then Jake Thompson showed up.
Allowing a walk and a single to lead off the second, Thompson was bailed out by Rhys Hoskins retiring the Dodgers. Chris Taylor hit one out of Hoskins’ reach to make it 1-0 Dodgers, but though Thompson didn’t look sharp, he did manage to keep the Dodgers at one run, thanks to some defense and to the Dodgers’ clutchless flailing. Two one-out walks in the fifth made things itchy, but neither Corey Seager nor Justin Turner could get them in.
Which was fortunate, because by then the Phillies were protecting a 2-1 lead. Tommy Joseph had knocked in Aaron Altherr with a double and Andrew Knapp had pushed Joseph across. Everybody cooled off for three innings, with Kevin Siegrist relieving Thompson and Victor Arano coming on. A pinch hitting Chase Utley raised his hand to the applauding throngs in a nonverbal command of “shut the hell up” that was interpreted as a friendly wave, then greeted Arano with an old-man triple. Hoby Milner and his scoreless inning streak strolled in and shattered his accomplishment by giving up a pair of RBI doubles.
The Dodgers must feel about Aaron Altherr how all of baseball felt about Rhys Hoskins. Altherr came up with a recently-walked Hoskins on first and knocked a two-run home run to tie the game. Tommy Joseph got one out to give them the lead while Chase Utley climbed into a hole in the wall he had carved out years ago as his “screaming place.”
But it wasn’t enough. The Dodgers and some malevolent anti-baseball force got to the Phillies in the top of the eighth. Luis Garcia walked Austin Barnes to start the inning, and Barnes was standing on third moments later after a wild pitch and a passed ball.
Rhys Hoskins Tommy Joseph made a stop on a sharp Utley ground ball, then inexplicably went home with it to get Barnes. He didn’t get Barnes. Utley was safe at first, too, and pulled the fork out of his thigh.
Garcia gave up another walk but managed to end the frame with the game tied 5-5. Then it was the Phillies’ turn.
If you’ll remember, these Phillies have turns that last longer than the amount of time it takes for five or six pitches to be thrown. These pitch-taking, run-scoring Phillies, and they arrived on time once again tonight.
Cesar Hernandez, who’d been grumbling and then barking at the home plate ump all night, took a second strike he didn’t like but did draw a walk to lead off. Freddy Galvis bailed out Dodgers hurler Luis Avilan with a horrific bunt that should have been a double play, but Avilan’s throw went to center field and the back-up throw went into the parking lot, putting two runners in scoring position. Odubel Herrera struck out, but he’ll make up for that later, and Hoskins’ reputation was confirmed when he was intentionally walked so that the Dodgers could face......... Aaron Altherr.
The man who has been homering off the Dodgers all week. Altherr cracked a single that scored Hernandez and Galvis and made it 7-5. Hector Neris came in to do his job and got two outs, then let Yasiel Puig toy with him at the plate and then blast a pitch to the center field wall.
Odubel Herrera ran backwards, bells, whistles, and party favors going off inside of his head, felt for the wall, timed his jump, and plucked the ball out of the air from an absurd height, I believe he was eye-level with a toddler eating a french fry helmet in Ashburn Alley.
The umps didn’t want to go back to a lonely hotel room right away so everyone hung out for a second while they reviewed the play. The call stood and the Phillies danced. CSN cut to a shot of some crushed Dodgers fans and Neris bellowed into the cosmos.
Facing Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, and the first-place, playoff-bound Dodgers has been the greatest series of the season.
“It’s just nice to beat such a good team,” Pete Mackanin said. “My wife wants me to smile more of the time, so I’m smiling.”