If you'd asked Phillies fans before the season how the team was going to do, the realistic ones would've told you the aging, oft-injured club needed a lot of things to go right for it to be a contender.
No one likely would have told you the team would be 16 1/2 games out of first place in the NL East on Aug. 5, though.
Yet that's exactly where the Phils find themselves after a 4-1 loss to the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves on Sunday night.
The win gave the Braves a sweep of the sinking Phillies (50-61), who have lost 13 of 15 games since the All-Star break. The Braves (67-45), meanwhile, have won 10 in a row.
The Phillies' lone run Sunday night came on a home run by Carlos Ruiz, his second in a week.
The Braves got all the offense they would need in support of rookie starting pitcher Alex Wood, who improved to 2-2 on the year, when third baseman Chris Johnson drove in two runs on a single off Cliff Lee in the ninth. Johnson leads the NL in hitting, at .346.
The Braves tacked on two more runs in the fourth on an RBI single by right fielder Jason Heyward and an RBI double by left fielder Justin Upton.
Lee is now 10-5 on the year. He allowed three earned runs on eight hits over five innings.