It wasn't supposed to cool the bats of the other Phils, or suddenly bolster a bullpen which had been inducing more runs than Aunt Patty's undercooked meatloaf.
For some reason, though, the Phillies have slipped after No. 26's return from a broken finger.
Once in a tie for the wild card, the Phightins have fallen into an NL West quagmire.
As of September 4th, the NL West* (this asterisk denotes no Barry Bonds or Giants included) is a four-team race, with the Rockies only five games out. The Phillies are four off the D-Backs' wild card lead.
The obvious question: "What hath Chase wrought?"
The top run-producing team in the NL has reeled of a string of single-run games against the hated division foes from Queens, Miami, and Atlanta. After barely pulling off an 11-10 victory over the Mets on August 30th, the Phillies have gone 1-4, with two more games to play at Atlanta.
Why such angst over a three-game skid?
Philadelphians had nothing to look forward to this fall (except the Eagles) with Utley out—and his return should've touched off rout after rout. Instead, he's been a cooler in a city starved for success.
Sure, the wins were fun while our rotation was depleted and our All-Star second baseman was injured...but we'd like a few more now that we're going into the stretch run.
Is that so hard?
Actually, it just might be.