This is the day the Phillies look in the mirror.
One year ago today, the Phils dealt four prospects for Hunter Pence. Two years ago today, they traded a pair of prospects and J.A. Happ for Roy Oswalt. And three years ago, they dealt four prospects for Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco. Looking back, that type of frivolous dealing feels like ages ago, particularly the move for Pence, a vulgar display of power that only made the best team in baseball on July 29 that much better. A year later, dazed and cut down to a mortal 11 games below .500, the Phils are surrounded by luxuries, like Pence, they probably can't afford.
So here's July 29, and the Phils gaze at their reflection. The divisional eclipse is upon them. They've aged. They see many wrinkles: the lack of execution; glaring holes; not enough spring; devoid of the best of breed pitching they enjoyed a season ago. So what are they going to do?
Beerleaguer on 610-WIP: Tune in at 2 p.m. today when I talk Phils with Brian Startare.
Game chat: Kevin Frandsen makes his first start at third base, while Laynce Nix starts for the first time since May and replaces slumping right fielder Hunter Pence today when the Phillies conclude their series with the Braves. Discuss it here.