It looked like the Phillies would be on their way to a big and needed win over the Nationals.

But in one inning, the Phils, like their season, collapsed in the ninth inning. In multiple ways.

Leading by one in the ninth, Pat Neshek gave up a two-run homer to Anthony Rendon to give Washington a 4-3 lead. Two batters later, Ryan Zimmerman doubled to right and attempted to steal third. Jorge Alfaro’s dart to try and get him out on the steal went into left field and extended the Washington lead to two runs.

Wilson Ramos got an RBI double in the bottom portion of the inning and was replaced with a pinch runner. Because Gabe Kapler was out of position players, he went with Vince Velasquez. On the next pitch, Alfaro flied out to center field and Velasquez tagged up and went to third. But he left early after a Nats review and the game was over.

Add to those errors Carlos Santana’s throw to the backstop in the seventh to give the Nats their first two runs of the game. And that ruined another great performance by Aaron Nola, who went seven innings and gave up those two runs on four hits with two walks with eight strikeouts. Once again he out-dueled Max Scherzer, but his team couldn’t get the win.

The defense is pretty bad, for starters, and the hitting can be extremely cold at times, which is coming at the completely wrong time. The Phils acquired Jose Bautista, who has a .196 average this season, to try and spice up their bench. Bold move, Cotton. Let’s see if that pays off.

The squad hopes to avoid a sweep tonight at 7:05 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia. Jake Arrieta will be on the mound. Right now, August is looking like the disaster that is the beer cycle. Also, we probably won’t see Cole Hamels on Sunday.

The Roundup:

Start your day off with a brand new episode of the Crossing Broadcast.

The Eagles are one day away from their final preseason game against the Jets. To prepare, the Birds signed tight end Anthony Denham. He was in camp last year and got cut.

It’ll also be one more time for Christian Hackenberg to show what he’s got.

“Everyone’s path is different. Things happen to people and certain things get presented to you,” Hackenberg said. “There are challenges and situations and you see how you react. I know I’m mentally tough enough to handle everything.”

Thursday night, in the NFL’s annual dress rehearsal for the understudies, Hackenberg will get playing time with the Eagles. It’s hard to say how much, but he will be taking snaps in a game for the first time since Aug. 31, 2017, exactly 365 days before.

There is irony in the fact that the previous game was also Jets vs. Eagles in the exhibition season finale, but with Hackenberg making a last-ditch attempt to fit into the plans of the team that drafted him. In this game on Thursday, he has virtually no chance to survive Saturday’s roster cut to the 53-man limit. He does have practice squad eligibility, although that would be a long comedown for Hackenberg. Still, he doesn’t have many other options, except, of course, opening eyes elsewhere with a strong performance against the Jets.

“I’m optimistic,” Hackenberg said. “I take this as an opportunity to go out and play and that’s just how I focus on it. I’ll be able to get some reps under my belt.”

As for the actual roster, Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen report Alshon Jeffery will miss at least the first two weeks of the season, with Week 3 against the Colts being his targeted return. The team also reportedly restructured Chris Maragos’ deal and he’ll now be a free agent after this season.

Doug Pederson spoke to the media and you wouldn’t guess what he talked about. That’s right, Carson Wentz (and other stuff)! He said he’ll probably know privately if he’ll start next Thursday but won’t give it out publicly until possibly 90 minutes before kickoff.

Last night on Hard Knocks, Mychal Kendricks had some remarks on his former teammates.

Malcolm Jenkins isn’t a fan of the new Super Bowl LII champions sign in the locker room. A reminder that the Eagles won the Super Bowl.

You want a long-term average team? The Flyers are your best option!

For fans seeking long-term mediocrity, the Philadelphia Flyers might be a good option, having finished with between 39 and 42 wins in four of their last five seasons. (And in the one season they didn’t, they still racked up points for a league-leading 18 overtime losses, which could easily have turned into ties — aka the best possible outcome for fans of .500 play — under the NHL’s old standings system.) According to our algorithm, no team in major pro sports has been more consistently mediocre over the past five seasons than the Flyers, although they narrowly edged out the NBA’s Washington Wizards — another great pick if you want to watch dependably so-so basketball.

In other sports news, the NBA will lift color restrictions on sneakers.

Kirk Cousins turned down a $90 million offer from the Jets to play for the Vikings.

Dez Bryant will probably wait a little longer before signing a deal.

Bob Costas might be leaving NBC.

The Spring-Ford school teacher that was also a wrestler with a Nazi gimmick is done with his side job.

In the news, a woman was killed in Cape May County after riding a go-kart.

Esport executives say blame guns, not games for shootings.

Oreo has launched wasabi and hot chicken wing flavors and let’s just end these new flavors right there.