OK, SO the Phillies have wrapped up their much-anticipated series with the Boston Red Sox.
And what have we learned?
Well, after yesterday's 11-6 victory you can conclude that the Phillies, despite losing two of three, can play with the best teams in the American League as well as those of the National League.
They are 3-3 in six games of interleague play with the Yankees and Red Sox.
Also, if you didn't already know, the Phillies' bats are capable of making even the hottest pitcher look bad. Boston starter Josh Beckett had been nearly untouchable, giving up just one earned run in his previous 28 2/3 innings, spanning four starts.
In six innings and two batters against the Phillies, Beckett gave up seven runs (six earned) on a season-high 11 hits.
Still, what does it mean?
The answer is nothing too significant - not at this stage.
Clearly, you always want to win, and I'm sure Phillies' fans got some measure of satisfaction after finally shutting up the inordinate number from Red Sox Nation that descended on Citizens Bank Park over the weekend.
This was one of the high-profile series of interleague play, the reigning World Series champion against the most successful team over the last 5 years.
In reality, however, it was a three-game set that looked considerably more significant on paper than in reality.
If somebody wants to conclude that Boston winning two out of three signifies that the Red Sox are the better team, that's fine.
Still, it's June, and since Boston plays in the American League, it really doesn't matter if the Red Sox are the better team in June, July, August or even September. The only time the quality of the Red Sox compared to that of the Phillies would matter would be in October if the teams are playing in the World Series.
Last season the Phillies finished 4-11 in interleague play and that certainly didn't matter in October.
So in terms of right now, the Phillies playing the Red Sox isn't any bigger than the three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays beginning tomorrow.
Here's what you can take out of yesterday's win - the Phillies won at home. That supersedes the fact that the win was over the Red Sox.
The Phillies are the best road team in baseball, but their home record ranks with Washington's and Colorado's. Of the teams with winning records, the Phillies are the only one with a losing record at home.
Going into yesterday's games, only the Nationals and Rockies (10 each) had fewer victories at home than the Phillies (12).
Perhaps the most amazing thing about it is that the Phillies (36-25) have managed to take a four-game lead in the National League East. Their .590 winning percentage is third best in baseball behind only the Dodgers and the Red Sox.
That raises the question: Where would the Phillies be if they were playing just average ball in their home park? Would they be six, seven, maybe more games up on the Mets?
It wasn't so much that it was Boston that had won games on Friday and Saturday in Citizen Bank Park. It was that the opposition had won Friday and Saturday in Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies had come back home from a 7-3 road trip through San Diego, Los Angeles and the New York Mets, and, in reality, they were two blown saves in LA from being 9-1.
They brought a lot of momentum into this series with Boston, but those first two losses had knocked much of the luster off the road trip and rekindled concerns about struggling at home. That would have been the same feeling had they played the Baltimore Orioles or Pittsburgh Pirates.
That was what made yesterday's game big for the Phillies, not that they were playing the Red Sox and facing Beckett.
The Phillies have three-game home series against Toronto and Baltimore before heading back to the friendly confines of the road to play the Tampa Bay Rays.
They needed to feel good again about playing at home and now they have something they can try to build on.
"Those first losses I felt like we could play better than that - that we are better than that," manager Charlie Manuel said. "It was good for us to win today. It was good for us to beat the Red Sox and beat Beckett."
More importantly, it was just good for the Phillies to beat someone at Citizens Bank Park. *