The season starts less than ideally for the Phillies -- they're swept by Atlanta in their opening series and manage just one win through their first seven games. They right the ship late in the month with a five-game winning streak, but still finish April with a losing record. Ryan Howard hits .221 with three homers in the season's opening month.
Howard is lost for two weeks because of a left quadriceps strain, but the Phillies still score a National League-leading 5.39 runs per game as they creep back toward .500. Cole Hamels records five victories in six starts, including an eight-inning, 11-strikeout masterpiece against Milwaukee on May 16.
The bats stay strong but the arms fall apart. The Phils allow almost six runs a game this month -- worst in the National League -- but finish with another winning record because of some timely hitting. Three-game sweeps of the Mets and White Sox highlight the month.
The Phils pick up serious steam after the All-Star break, winning nine of 10 games to pull within striking distance in the NL East. Philadelphia scores almost 6 1/2 runs per game for the month, easily the most in the league. Chase Utley leads the onslaught with 11 multi-hit contests in a span of 13 games.
Despite losing Utley for almost the whole month because of a fractured right hand, the Phillies only get hotter. They win their final six games of the month, including a wild, four-game sweep of the Mets in Philadelphia. The final game of the set -- a dramatic, 11-10 walk-off win -- pulls the Phillies to within two games of the division lead.
The Phils falter temporarily, dropping five of their first six games of the month to fall six back of New York. But they rebound with equal force, winning 12 of their next 15 -- including a three-game sweep of the Mets at Shea Stadium -- to pry their way into October with a victory on the last day of the season.
Tom Keller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.