For a moment, it appeared the Phillies were about to pull another rabbit out of their magical post-season hat.
When they scored four runs in the top of the second inning on half swings, the sun, and weird bounces, it looked like the baseball gods were shining on Philadelphia.
Luckily for the Padres, it was only the second inning. They had plenty of time to come back. And they did.
They rode a five run fifth inning that seemed like it lasted two days to overcome the deficit, get that monkey off their backs, and tie the best-of-seven series.
That second inning could have crushed a lesser team.
Bryce Harper shoved a 3-2 pitch for a soft single to center to lead off the second. The exit velocity was 71.9 miles per hour. Not to be outhit, Nick Castellanos followed that up with a bloop single that registered 60.9 mph. Alex Bohm hit a legit single to score the first run. The next batter struck out. Then Matt Vierling hit a very catchable fly ball to right. But the sun was bright and Padres right fielder Juan Soto, who had just committed a throwing error to allow the runner from first to get to second, couldn’t see it. It dropped untouched for a gift double, scoring the second Phillies run. The next batter hit a lazy fly ball to left. Jurickson Profar lost it in the crowd or something, and it plopped down in front of him to score a third run. Then Kyle Schwarber hit a double play grounder that was bobbled into a single play grounder. A fourth run scored on the play.
It looked like bad luck and bad baseball was going to bury the Padres. But Blake Snell didn’t let it bother him, didn’t cave, and found a way to make it through five innings.
The Padres came off the mat in the fifth, stormed back, and eventually won the game 8-5, tying the series 1-1.
Playoff baseball chalked up another classic game. It might have been sloppy at times, but it was certainly fun to watch.