Oh, how things have changed.
On Sunday, the Phillies won another game in walk-off style — their seventh to be exact — by beating the White Sox in 10 innings, 4-3, thanks to John Mayberry Jr.’s heroics.
Entering July 2, the Phillies were a season-high five games below .500 (39-44) and on the cusp of a possible make-or-break stretch before hitting the All-Star break.
Now, it sure looks like the Phillies have settled the whole buy-or-sell dilemma.
The Phils will be adding — not subtracting — and it makes sense considering this:
• The Phils have won nine of their last 13 games
• They went 7-3 in their pivotal 10-game homestand which featured division rivals Atlanta and Washington, teams the Phillies must leapfrog
• They’ve won four straight series and five of their last six
• Since the Braves ripped off a 12-1 start, they’ve gone 42-40 since, while the Nationals (48-47) have been just one game better than the Phillies
• The Braves have been stricken with injuries to Justin Upton, B.J. Upton, Jason Heyward, Jordan Schafer, Evan Gattis and key arms in the bullpen
• The Phillies are 24-14 against the NL East — tops in the division — and still have 13 games remaining vs. the Braves and nine vs. the Nationals
• From 2005-12 under Charlie Manuel, the Phillies own a .610 winning percentage after the All-Star break, which is second-best in baseball.
• Currently, the Phillies are 48-48, 6 1/2 games out first place in the NL East and 5 1/2 out of the wild card. Last season at the All-Star break, the Phils were 13 games under .500, 14 games out of first place and 10 out of the wild card
So, can you blame Ruben Amaro Jr. for having faith? It’s hard to. An injury-riddled season last year resulted in just one so-so campaign (2012: 81-81). This current group, however, is a different team in a different state.
Moreover, when you add in the injury to Ben Revere and a leaky bullpen, it provides more incentive to Amaro’s buying motives — fill a couple holes and see what happens.
One thing is certain: these Phillies are making it awfully difficult to give up on them — and why should we?