The Philadelphia Phillies have had a winning record once this year. They've had the best mark in baseball after the All-Star break over the past six.
The Phillies look to begin another strong second half when they open a pivotal nine-game road trip against the New York Mets on Friday night.
The Phillies (48-48) have won eight of 11 and are looking to move above .500 for the only time this season other than June 6, when they were 31-30.
They're 6 1/2 games behind NL East-leading Atlanta, while Washington is six back.
"What's meaningful is we're not out of the race," shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose 50 games and you're going to win 50 games. It's those 62 that really make the difference. It's going to come down to the last weekend like it has the last couple of years."
That seems very possible given Philadelphia's 314-198 record after the All-Star break since the start of 2007.
Duplicating that success on this trip could be a factor...