Ryan Howard and the Phillies will face Brian McCann and the Braves in a crucial three-game series this weekend. (Philliedelphia/Kevin Durso)
The Phillies are 9-10 in July, with a win total matching their month of June. If not for a recent stretch of magic and fantastic finishes, it would be way worse, and the Phillies would still be driving themselves further into the ground.
In the beginning of July, the Phillies finished a three-game series with the Marlins, where they were swept, faced the Mets on the road, where they lost two of three games, and hosted the Braves, where they were also swept.
Nine games against division foes; just one win. If there is anything that has caused the Phillies problems this season, it's losses in winnable games to division opponents.
The Braves are in second place in the NL East. The Phillies are a half game out of fourth and three games out of third. They are 9 1/2 behind the Braves. You could argue that this is a series the Phillies must sweep...