Is that a faint glimmer of hope on the horizon?
The Philadelphia Phillies rolled into the month of August surrounded by fans already focus on the 2013 season, but in a lot of ways, the Phillies themselves were already gearing up for next year.
By the final day of July they had traded away two of their key cogs coming into the season in Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence.
They added some quality minor league talent in guys like Tommy Joseph and Ethan Martin while adding some players that could help at the MLB level next season in Josh Lindblom and Nate Schierholtz.
The month of August wasn't going to be one that the Phillies had become accustomed to in years past, but it was going to be an interesting one nonetheless. A lot of guys on this club still had something to play for.
Now, the Phillies find themselves in a unique situation. Hovering right around 10 games out of a Wild Card spot, they seem like a distant threat to the leaders.
But you know that this club can't help but realize that they're in nearly the exact same predicament as the St. Louis Cardinals were at this time last season, and that train ran right through Philadelphia on its way to a World Series.
August was a pretty good month for the Phillies. They're going to finish with a record north of .500 and an unlikely dream of recreating the Cardinals' dramatic run at the postseason.
So in order to determine whether or not they even have a shot, we'll look back at each player's month of August and grade them on their performance. Who needs to improve and who needs to stay the course for the Phillies to make an improbable run at October in the month of September?