Sometimes, you have to wait for the plot to develop before kicking back to watch a great ending.
The early innings were action-packed, but slow-moving. The middle innings could have put you to sleep honestly.
And just when the Phillies looked like they were down and out, in a most familiar fashion, they managed to find a rally.
Nearly an hour later, the Phillies were celebrating another series win, which is good enough for Phillies fans right about now.
The Cardinals started the scoring right away in the first with a lead-off single by Jon Jay and an RBI double by Matt Carpenter.
The Phillies were facing 13-game winner Lance Lynn, who they had never faced before. That's usually a recipe for disaster. But the first two Phillies, Juan Pierre and Kevin Frandsen, reached base and came around to score on Chase Utley's RBI triple. Utley scored on an RBI single by Ryan Howard, which capped a three-run first.
The Cardinals answered in the third on an RBI double by Carlos Beltran to cut the lead to one. They would tie the game on an single by Jon Jay and an error by Erik Kratz. Jay went to third on the error, and scored on a single by Carpenter.
With the Phillies suddenly down one, they wasted no time in getting back into the game. Ryan Howard belted a solo shot to left-center to tie the game leading off the fourth.
Vance Worley battled his way through 5 1/3 innings allowing four runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out four.
The Phillies got some solid bullpen pitching from Raul Valdes and Josh Lindblom in the middle innings. Aside from one walk by Lindblom, the Cardinals didn't threaten.
Then, Michael Schwimer came on for the eighth and worked himself into trouble immediately. With one out and two runners on, Schwimer stayed in to face the left-handed Jon Jay. That proved to be a mistake. Jay doubled to the left-center gap, scoring two runs. He would score on a bloop single by Carpenter.
The Phillie started to work a threat in the eighth when Utley and Howard worked walks to lead off the inning. But Utley only advanced to third with two outs in the inning, leaving any shot of scoring to Erik Kratz.
Kratz didn't waste any time. He swung at the first pitch and belted it to left field and just over the fence into the flowers for a game-tying three-run home run.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth, giving way to the Phillies offense with a chance to win it in the ninth.
Jeremy Horst pitched scoreless innings in the 10th and 11th, giving the Phillies a chance in each inning.
The Phillies really had that chance to lead off the 11th, when Kratz doubled to the left-field corner. But Jimmy Rollins, who pinch hit in the eighth, didn't bunt and grounded one to short that was easily able to get an over-aggressive Kratz trying to take third.
Rollins managed to take third with two outs so Juan Pierre had a chance to knock him in and win the game. Pierre hit a sharp one-hopper to short, but Furcal slipped on the throw to first and Pierre was able to beat it out, giving the Phillies an 8-7 win.
Persistence pays off as they say. That could be said about the Phillies, who immediately after surrendering a three-run inning to the Cardinals battled back. That would be the inning that forced extras, and eventually another walk-off win for the Phillies.
All in all, credit the Phillies for a well-played series. Despite last night's clunker, they played two close games with the Cardinals. Today's game, toward the later stages, started to feel like a playoff preview. It couldn't be farther from it after the Phillies win, which just pushed the Cardinals further back in the NL Central and wildcard races.
But in the middle of the action, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard continue to drive in runs. Erik Kratz continues to form into the likely backup for next season.
Vance Worley wasn't great, but he managed to gut it out through 5 1/3 innings. The bullpen does have some players trying to improve and mold themselves into options next year. Jeremy Horst is one of those guys. His command was excellent and he picked up the win after two scoreless innings in extra frames.
It's a good confidence builder as the Phillies go into a battle for last place. They have a three-game series with the Marlins after trading places in the division for each of the last three days. This series will decide it once and for all.
Kevin Durso is a contributor for Philliedelphia. You can follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.