On July 17th of last season, the first-place Phillies strolled out of Citi Field having taken 2 of 3 from the Mets, and widening their NL East lead over their rivals to a comfortable 12 games.  A predictable outcome during what culminated in a 102-win season for those Fightin’ Phils.

Nearly a year later?

Same two teams at Citi, but headed in opposite directions.  This time, it’s the surprising Mets looking to jam a nail in the 2012 Phillies’ coffin.  It’s the Mets, at 44-37, looking to add more distance in the standings between themselves and their basement-dwelling, 36-46 rivals.  It’s the Mets, starting the series off hot, blowing the Phillies off the field, and getting that dominant pitching performance that we’ve become so accustomed to seeing from Charlie’s gang.

It’s been a sobering fall from the top for the boys in red, as their 5-year NL East reign will likely come to a close this year.  It’s a little strange to think of them as potential sellers at the deadline, as they’ve been the class of the NL for the past few years (during the regular season, anyway).  If this is the end of this group’s run, it’s certainly been a memorable one.

As for the Mets, there is still an entire half of the season to be played, and they do have some definite flaws to address.  But as of right now, looking at the standings, seeing the Mets up 8 and a half on Philly, and breathing down the neck of the first-place Nationals…who would’ve predicted this a year ago?