With Sunday's 10-6 win over the Mets, the Phillies accomplished something for just the second time in the 125-year history of the franchise: seven straight seasons of at least 80 wins.
The first stretch was from 1974-1980, a run that included four division titles and, of course, the lone championship that remains the highlight of these 125 years. That seven-year streak almost certainly would have stretched to eleven years were it not for the 1981 strike that limited the Phils' season to 107 games. The team notched 89, 90, and 81 victories in the next three seasons, stayed close to the break-even mark through 1987, and then... well, you know.
The current streak of--well, I'm not sure what to call it; competitiveness? respectability?--hasn't approached the glory of those 1976-83 Phillies. But it is an accomplishment of sorts; in the same time, teams like the Diamondbacks and Tigers have both won pennants and lost well over 100 games. The Phils, meanwhile, stand a pretty good chance of becoming the first team in the wild-card era to win 85 or more five straight seasons while never reaching the playoffs. Not for us the dizzying highs or terrifying lows--though the middles aren't so much creamy as maddening.