The Phillies haven't been here in awhile. Five straight division crowns will do that.
But after another crushing loss -- a 5-2 defeat yesterday in Miami -- the Phils are nine games under .500 halfway through the baseball season. They are 11 games behind Washington for first place in the NL East through 81 games. And, after trading Jim Thome to Baltimore Saturday afternoon, some are thinking that the Phillies might be sellers when MLB's trading deadline rolls around at the end of July.
There was even a Twitter report floating around that the Phils were actively shopping free-agent-to-be Cole Hamels. The left-hander took the loss in a 3-2 heartbreaker Saturday afternoon. Cliff Lee's struggles continued, too, as he headed to the showers early Friday in a 6-2 defeat. (They lost all three games in Miami.)
"When we can't win with Lee and Hamels, that kind of tells you how things have gone," manager Charlie Manuel said over the weekend. "We're trying to turn it around, of course, and get something going. We can get so close, yet we drift right back and get so far away."
The Phillies are off today and will try to collect themselves before starting a three-game set with the Mets tomorrow. They'll follow that up by hosting the Braves for three games. If they can't make up any ground in the next week, it just might be time for a massive overhaul.