As a friend of mine said to me a couple of weeks ago, if there is anything the 2010 Philadelphia Phillies baseball season has taught us, it is that 162 games can make for a very long season.
In just the last six weeks alone, the Phillies have been without Chase Utley, have spent three weeks without Jamie Moyer or Shane Victorino, and have lost Ryan Howard.
And yet, however improbably, the Phillies have simply prospered during the absence of three of their biggest stars and one of their most consistent starters.
On June 28th, the day Utley went down, the Phils were 40-34 and in third place in the NL East division. After Thursday night's riveting come-from-behind victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Phillies are 64-50 and are playing .600 ball without their All-Star second baseman.
So what in the world is going on?
What's going on is the Phillies have been getting some rather heroic performances from some rather unsung heroes.