Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/11/12

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins knows a good baseball season when he sees one. He knows a bad one, too. Sometimes, it takes a trained eye sometimes to know the difference.

So there was Rollins on Saturday in Baltimore, shaking his head at the elements of a 6-4 extra-innings loss that would precede a 5-4 extra-innings defeat Sunday.

In it, the Phillies hit line drives ... right into gloves. In it, umpire Fieldin Culbreth so appeared to miss a forceout at second base that Rollins afterward threw his support for the first time behind instant replay. In it, the Phillies' season -- plunging 10 loss-column games behind the first-place Nationals as the weekend ended -- was crystallized.

Not only are they presenting bad baseball, but many bad baseball things are presenting themselves to them.

Last week, even the wind seemed to blow the wrong way, knocking down a seemingly certain home run by center fielder Shane Victorino, the ball appearing to drop directly from the sky into Citizens Bank Park's left field.

Then, there is the season-long, standard observation that neither second baseman Chase Utley nor first baseman Ryan Howard -- each a franchise legend -- has been able to regain enough health to play. Even star pitcher Roy Halladay is injured.

Odd times.

Odd season?

"Ahhhh," Rollins would say afterward, with a shrug. "Those things happen in good years, too."

They do, as do errors, injuries and other relative on-field catastrophes. But it is when they collect in such a hurry that the possibility arises: Maybe it just takes a bad team to have so many bad things happen.

"We kept swinging to give ourselves a chance and it just didn't happen," Rollins said. "I hit a bullet that was caught. (Left fielder) Juan Pierre hit a bullet and it was caught. But like I said, those things happen in a good year, too. It's just that people want to magnify it when things aren't going well."

That was the spin as the Phillies lugged their 29-33 record to Minnesota, where Tuesday they will begin a three-game series against the Twins.

They were prepared not to consider the 11 runners they left on base Sunday -- but the fact that they were on base at all.

"Many times it turns around real quick," right fielder Hunter Pence said. "The potential is here. We just have to go out and play."

Sunday, they were playing with a 4-1 lead and had Cliff Lee, who had brought a 2.92 ERA into the game, on the mound ... and still lost. So after a breath-catch day off, they will try their luck some more against the Twins.

If they have any luck at all.

"That one inning, the last inning, we hit three or four balls hard," Victorino said after the Sunday loss. "But they were right at guys. We did have situations where we put ourselves in position to score runs, but in situations late in the game, with the game tied, we hit three balls hard. But those kind of things happen. And they seemed to have happened to us. It's part of the game. Hey, at the end, somebody's got to win and somebody's got to lose. We've just got to keep plugging along, man."

Such has been their secret during their five-season National League East dynasty: They don't panic.

This year, though, has been a test to that resolve.

"You think the law of averages would kick in," manager Charlie Manuel said Saturday. "I felt like we had some good hitting, but we hit into four double plays. That definitely hurts. We had chances to score and we didn't. And they came up and hit the big homer at the end."

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