If, like me, you got together with friends over this holiday weekend, you probably didn't watch yesterday's game versus Atlanta, especially given its 5PM start.
Naturally, I did check the score periodically, on my phone, and upon learning the Phils had built a 7-1 lead in the sixth inning, I checked in far less frequently. Even when I looked again in the bottom of the ninth and saw the Phils still maintained a comfortable 7-3 lead, I was quite pleased with the imminent prospect of their sweeping the Braves in Atlanta.
Refreshing the score on my phone, I began to worry slightly (hey, after all, these were the 2012 Phillies) when the ninth inning seemed to drag on. I delved deeper into the app to discover Jonathan Papelbon was on the mound. Suddenly, the small bases on the displayed diamond had all turned yellow. Then the score changed. 7-5. I excused myself briefly from our company to study the display on my phone more closely. The score lingered at 7-5 for what seemed like hours not minutes. Then I hit refresh one more time and the word "Final" appeared next to the totals, Atlanta 8, Phillies 7.
What had happened???
The standing President of the Phillies-killers Society, one Chipper Jones, had launched a walk-off three run homer. Just like that a victory was snatched from the Phils. Just like that a clubhouse turned silent and numb. Just like that a flight to Cincinnati grew much longer.
In a season of ugly losses and misery, this one would stand out.
After the game, Jonathan Papelbon demurred, saying it was just another loss in a bunch of losses this season. What else does a guy being paid $12.5 million a season to prevent such endings say under the circumstances?