Imagine how confused the Phillies were. "This . . . this can't be possible," Ruben Amaro muttered as he scanned the National League East standings. "We took every precaution; our calculations were exact. We even signed Jeff Francoeur. The experts said there was no way we weren't finishing last!"
I don't know why the Phillies are so desperate to finish last, and I don't much care. I will say that their plight reminds me of the mid-1990s, when the Phils weren't trying very hard to win and we were supposed to pretend that Philadelphia was a "small market." I remember standing around in my giant baggy pants listening to Soul Coughing and trying really hard to ignore that Philly had, like, three times as many people as Atlanta.
Amaro no longer has to worry that he should have tried harder to give away Chase Utley: the Nats are no longer in last place, and the Phillies can settle in there for the long haul.
Meanwhile, in the higher reaches of the division, the Mets got taken down a peg just like I wished for. They're still in first, but they know it won't last. Previously unbeaten at home and with a winning record against their superiors (i.e., us), they are now very much beaten at home and with a losing record against their superiors. Ha ha.
Now the Marlins come in with their weirdly Nationals-esque narrative. Terrible at the start of the season, they're currently on some kinda hot streak. If we can win this series, we'll be at least in third place and maybe even over .500. If that happens, I won't be talking so much about firing Matt Williams, although I will still be thinking it every moment I'm awake.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go get me a Livan bobblehead.
Update: Success! Looks just like him.