Simply seeing the final score to any game never tells enough of the story of how we got there. In the case of Wednesday afternoon's Nationals-Phillies bout, simply seeing a 13-12 Nationals win lacks all kinds of context in the extreme. Let's take a look at some of the ridiculousness.
The Phillies had a 5-0 lead through four innings. At this point in the game, the Phillies had a 95.5 percent chance of winning the game. The Nationals would get five in the top of the fifth inning to tie it. Here's a highlight of the game-tying blast from Kyle Schwarber along with the Nationals' social media person digging in against the entire city of Philadelphia:
Schwarber, by the way, is one some kind of power tear. He now has 10 homers and 19 RBI in his last 12 games. All that damage is coming from the leadoff spot, too. He's an unconventional leadoff man, sure, but it seems to be working.
The Phillies would not go quietly into the proverbial night, though. A rally ensued in the bottom of the fifth, culminating with an Andrew McCutchen grand slam:
That shot pumped the Phillies' win expectancy back up to 94.4 percent, temporarily. In the top of the sixth, the Nationals put up a six spot, with the big blow being Josh Bell's grand slam:
It was now 11-9 Nationals and the two offenses took a quick breather in the bottom of the sixth and top of the seventh. The Phillies got one in the bottom of the seventh to claw within one and then were able to grab two in the bottom of the eighth for a one-run lead heading to the ninth.
The Phillies now had a 92.3 percent chance of winning. Hector Neris was tasked with getting three outs before allowing a run. He did not accomplish this. Josh Bell and Josh Harrison singled before Alex Avila sacrifice bunted in order to get the go-ahead run in scoring position. It worked. Starlin Castro came through in the clutch.
The Phillies would get a baserunner with two outs in the bottom of the ninth on a fielding error, but Brad Miller lined out to end the game.
The Phillies blew three leads even after responding to the first two in a big way on offense. The win expectancy chart illustrates nicely what a roller coaster of a game this was.
Wednesday's eventful game was preceded by Phillies manager Joe Girardi was ejected after repeated spats with Nationals and starter Max Scherzer over foreign substance checks in Tuesday's series opener.
The red-hot Nationals have won nine of their last 10 games and are now within a game of .500 at 35-36. Their season low was nine games under on June 12. The Phillies have lost six of eight and are also 35-36.