The Phillies took down the Red Sox in the first game of their 3 game series, 6 - 4, with Jonathan Papelbon shutting the door. As if it would have ended any other way.
This one looked like a disaster from the jump, as Bard was just awful in the first. He gave up 3 walks and 2 hits leading to 4 runs in the inning. He settled down after that, only allowing one more hit the rest of his time on the mound (a solo shot to Pence in the 5th) while walking 2 more batters along the way. He lasted just 5 innings, getting tagged for 5 run, 3 hits, 5 walks and just 3 Ks. Not great, but it's nice to see him be able to compose himself after a rocky start.
For Philadelphia, Cole Hamels was solid, never really letting the Red Sox get back in the game. He gave up solo home runs to Aviles and Ross and a third run on a Nava sacrifice fly. Those were the only three runs he surrendered in 7 innings of work while striking out 9.
The other Sox run came on a solo blast from Adrian Gonzalez off of Chad Qualls in the 8th. Qualls served Gonzo a ball down and in the he took right out of the park. So he was off a day on his home run prediction? Since we know his power comes in bunches, I hope this means this is the beginning of a nice run.
But the 9th inning contained all the excitement. Papelbon on the mound, facing his old team with a two run lead. On his first pitch against his former team, Kelly Shoppach hit a rocket right at third baseman Fontenot. Fontenot knocked the ball down, but for some reason started looking for the ball in the sky (who knows) while it was slowly rolling behind him leaving Shoppach amble time to reach first. Next, Nava hit a bouncer to first that moved Shoppach over to second. Then Byrd hit a ball up the middle that Rollins eventually scooped up (it felt like the ball was rolling for at least 17 minutes) and threw to first where Byrd was called out on a close play.
Valentine came out to argue that the ball pulled Wigginton off the base (it may have, the replays weren't definitive) and comically jumped up and down multiple times to prove his point. So, yeah, he was tossed. But as he continued to argue after getting thrown, the first base ump inadvertently spit his gum directly on Valentine. Which was gross. Once the dust settled from that, Nick Punto struck out. Phillies win. Papelbon gets the save. And hopefully Valentine dunked his head in a vat of sanitizer.