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Blown: Dodgers 7, Phillies 6

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This could have gone better.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

There are two ways to look at Monday’s 7-6 loss to the Dodgers.

The first way

I know the loss was frustrating, and seeing the Phillies give away the game in two different innings was infuriating. But they hung with the Dodgers for the entire game! And they didn’t even just hang with them. After a tough start from Zach Eflin, who gave up three home runs in less than three innings, the Phillies put up four runs in the fifth inning and took the lead.

It’s still a strange feeling when that happens. The last five years have conditioned me to expect that when the Phillies are losing, it will stay that way. Every time that doesn’t happen, every time they make a comeback — which has been more than a few times this season — it’s an unexpected and overwhelming joy. That’s what Monday night looked like when Rhys Hoskins clubbed a three-run home run with this understated bat flip.

And then imagine my face, and the noises I made, when Odubel Herrera came up next and hit a go-ahead home run! This is what a competitive baseball team looks like. They score runs and make comebacks and make the other team work.

And I haven’t even mentioned Maikel Franco yet! Without him and his two (TWO) home runs, this recap would be a series of expletives mixed with plaintive sighs. He got the scoring started in the second inning with a solo home run, and in the ninth inning he hit a solo dinger to bring the Phillies within one run of tying the game. They didn’t tie it, of course, but Franco hit that jack off of Kenley Jansen, which is an accomplishment.

The second way

All of that hitting was great, but the Phillies gave this game away.

Tommy Hunter, who still has a lot to do to prove to me he’s not actually bad, didn’t have a terrible outing. He pitched two innings and allowed one run, which was the natural result of a Manny Machado triple. And the natural result of Odubel Herrera briefly hesitating when he had to throw home when Max Muncy hit a pop-up in shallow center field. Machado scored, tied the game, and set the Phillies up for a ninth inning collapse.

The ninth inning was a disaster. Seranthony Dominguez, for so long the flamethrowing, strike throwing power force in the Phillies bullpen, just didn’t have it last night. He couldn’t find the zone and walked three hitters. He gave up just one single, but the death blow came when Jorge Alfaro couldn’t catch one of Seranthony’s pitches, which was thrown way outside. It was a wild pitch with the bases loaded, and the go ahead run scored. The Dodgers would score another run before the inning was over.

The starting pitching mixed with the defense and the bullpen doomed the Phillies. That they came back and nearly won this game is a testament to the fight this team has, and how they can match up with any team in the National League. They just have to figure out how to close the deal.

No matter how you look at last night’s loss, it was a loss. It was frustrating and annoying and now the Phillies are tied with the Braves in first place and it sucks. But they have everything they need to pick up the pieces and do better next time. And I think they will.