We can write the post-mortem right now: "Where there's a will, there's a way - - and where there's a way, there's a way out."
With tonight's 14-3 ugliness against the light-hitting Pod Squad, the 66-61 Phils remained on track for the 82-80 that some of us predicted before the season ... however, the Fightin's are essentially working their way out of the wild-card race - - a party which they were hoping to crash with a flimsy/brittle/imploding pitching staff.
This recent 1-5 stretch - - which began by blowing 4-0 leads Sat./Sun. in Pittsburgh - - isn't a shocker, by any means. However, the invasion of two weak-hittin' teams (LA/SD) and abusing the Phils' staff at The Cit, well ... after what happened barely more than a month ago in SD (a 1-0 loss followed by wins of 7-3, 12-4 and 9-0), it's a bit sobering.
Right now, it's difficult to remember if the season went out the window two days ago when Cole Hamels went on the 15-day D.L. - - or sometime in May when the staff's No. 1 and No. 2 starters (Brett Myers and Freddy Garcia) made a pact and decided to win a combined ONE game this season.
Or was it when Jamie Moyer decided that his fastball was finally going to match his age (44)?
Tonight's 14-3 massacre (two days after getting whipped, 15-3, by LA) to the Pod Squad which was without Phil Plantier and Ken Caminiti was a bad sign (two nobodies named "Bard" and "Kouzmanoff" went a combined 9 for 11 in the 22-hit assault) - - and it's laughable (now) to think that when the week began, the Phils were the N.L.'s top wild-card contender.
At the end of the day (as they say), this final mini-meltdown might be a blessing in disguise (as they say).
First of all, if the Phillies DID reach the postseason, who was going to pitch Game 3 at home vs. the D-Backs?
Adam Eaton and his 7.77 ERA?
82-year-old Terry Mulholland?
Another thing: Maybe another postseason w/o the Phils (a streak which dates back to '93 ... before the Marlins' two world titles) is good for the city.
The reason for thinking this way has a correlation to what happened the other night - - when it was reported that when ex-Phil Mike Lieberthal came to bat, he received a mixed reaction from the fans at The Cit.
A "mixed" reaction? What was THAT all about? Were several thousand fans more disgruntled about Lieby's five solid-but-not-spectacular years ('97, '00, '02, '04, '05) or were they ticked off that his two injury-plagued seasons ('98, '01) were, in their minds, not enough to offset those two very good seasons ('99, '03)?
Were the anti-Liebyists more bothered that Lieby didn't give them enough to boo about when he played in Philly - - or were they more rankled that Lieby didn't mouth off when they felt he NEEDED to mouth off?
Maybe they were frustrated that Lieby oftentimes furnished a 15 HR, 50 RBI, .270 avg. season and wasn't the heart-throb that Dutch Daulton was when he was batting .204, .225, .194, .208, .201, .268, .196, knee surgery, knee surgery, knee surgery, divorce from Hooters chick.
And, they had a "Darren Daulton Night" in '98 because, ummm ... ummm ... ummm ... because he was a swell guy and an incredible leader (or something like that).
Even though he never hit 30 homers in a season (Lieby did) and although he never batted .300 over the course of an entire season (Lieby did twice).
But, Dutch was a great, great, great leader.
Or something like that.
Well, maybe before the world ends on 12/21/2012 at 11:11 a.m. (as Dutch has informed us that it will - - which seems to be wayyyyyy off-base because Almost-President Gore virtually guaranteed that the world won't melt unto itself until at least 2016 ... and, besides, if Dutch REALLY is obsessed w/ the number 11, shouldn't the world end on 11/11/11 at 11:11?), the Phillie front office (that means you, Stanford University biology major Ruben Amaro) and the Phillie fans will need to decide what they want.
Until then, all of 'em need to get on the same page and text message Scott Rolen with the word "booooooo" for all of those World Series titles he cost the Phillies, '98 thru '05.
At least Rolen found a way out.
And got his World Series ring ...