First thing's first: the premise under which we will be operating here at High Cheese is that the size of the Phillies' deficit in the National League East is irrelevant, and that the only pertinent numbers are 36 and 71, which are the number of runs they have been outscored by, and the number of wins they are on pace for.
That they are within 5.5 games of the division lead after last night's victory over the Braves is more a curiosity than anything.
Fact is, a 71-win team has never come close to qualifying for the postseason, and the Phillies are playing at a 71-win pace, and while the NL East may be up for grabs, it just requires too much effort to try to pretend like the team we've watched over the first couple months of the season is capable of grabbing it.
Maybe if Cliff Lee was healthy I could convince myself to milk a few stories at the Phillies' improbable life. But, for the foreseeable, three out of every five games are going to be started by Kyle Kendrick, Roberto Hernandez and David Buchanan, which is one of the reasons this team has not won more than three games in a row in over a year.