Through all the frustration and maddening losses, the Phillies entered last night only eight games behind the first-place Washington Nationals.
For a club with nine players on the DL, including Roy Halladay, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, things could be much worse. Oh, things aren’t exactly rosy but the Phils push ahead hoping their injured All-Stars can give them a boost down the stretch.
The Phillies realize they can’t make up eight games in one night or in a three-game series. It’s going to come over time. Even with all the problems, hope remains on the horizon. In Monday’s victory, Shane Victorino noticed a buzz in the clubhouse.
“What I’ve said from day one is that we’ve got to have fun,” Victorino said. “When you’re winning, it’s always fun. When you’re losing, it’s not fun. We have to get out there, have fun, take it one game at a time and let it all play out.”
Since the Cardinals eliminated the Phillies in five games in last year’s NLDS, it has been a downhill curve. Altering that curve back into contention won’t be easy.
“Sometimes, it gets frustrating,” Victorino said. “If you think you’re frustrated, I’m 10 times more frustrated. I know that we will come back and battle every day. We will remain focused and we will remain positive.”
Remember 2007? The Phillies came back from seven games back with 17 remaining for the first of five consecutive division titles. So anything is possible, especially with a veteran team.
“We have to forget about what’s happened in the past,” Victorino said. “We have to forget about the standings and just go out there and have fun.”