The Phillies can accomplish something the Pittsburgh Pirates haven't done in 20 years by finishing in the black when Cliff Lee and the 81-80 Phillies bid farewell to their vexing 2012 campaign today at Nationals Park.
Beerleaguer: Although the Phils fell short of their goal, use today as an opportunity to reflect on many of the positive second-half developments. Rock bottom came on July 14 when they reached a season-low 14 games under .500. They have a chance to finish two games above sea level this afternoon. Monday night aside, growth in the bullpen, which has pitched to a 2.93 second-half ERA, and surprise contributions from unexpected sources kept them in the playoff conversation deep into September. It's a team in which seven - possibly eight - players will have made their Major League debut this season while a handful of others yo-yoed in and out of the minor leagues.
If nothing else, the Phils have managed to build back some optimism that will carry over to next spring. [Jump to the newest comments]