These are the type of wins that seem like they usually only ever happen against you, so you take them for the home team when you can. The Phils probably shoulda won this one easy, staking Cliff Lee to a 3-0 lead in the first five innings (partly Cliff's own doing, more on that in a minute), but a two-run shot from Jay Bruce in the 6th and then a solo blast from Joey Votto in the 8th off Antonio Bastardo in relief, and it started to look like a vintage 2012 Cliff Lee start, with late-inning trouble and shoddy relief work wasting an official Job Well Done start from the Phife Dog.
What the Reds weren't counting on, however, was a walk, a dribbler to third, a hit by pitch, a botched fielder's choice and a sacrifice fly ball to super-shallow center . The Phillies somehow were able to bleed two runs out of these cobbled-together offensive half-measures, which was more than Cincy could make up with a trio of pop-ups in the 9th. Final Score: Phils 5, Reds 3. Oh, and in case that eighth-inning doesn't sound weird enough as described, consider that both the infield hit and the sacrifice fly were legged out by one Ryan Howard. Outer Limits shit, y'all.
Of course, the Phils would've had an even bigger lead to work with had Cliff Lee and Michael Young not missed two homers in the fifth by a combined...18 inches, maybe? The Cliff one was particularly ridiculous--that thing looked for all the world to be gone, so much so that the Reds announcers already tallied it for the Phils while it was in the air, and Lee started a home-run trot that he was absolutely incensed to have to break. Seriously, I don't know if I've ever seen Cliff show as much naked emotion over anything as he did fury over that missed round-tripper. Whatever, he scored on the subsequent young triple anyway, so hopefully he didn't have to run over any bikers on the way home from the stadium or anything.
Good, if weird, win against one of the NL's best, and you gotta like our chances tomorrow as our six-time Cy Young winner Kyle Kendrick (too early to start talking HOF?) takes the hill against Bronson Arroyo. Also, shout out to Jonathan Papelbon, who has still not given up a run since his first appearance of the season, now 16 straight scoreless appearances. Kinda cool to see his Baseball Refence Game Log ERA start out super-high, then just keep getting lower and lower and lower from there. Like the trending, Jon.