AUDIO (ESPN): In clowing on the weekend’s top slop series, John Kruk concedes that fifth place in the NL East is exactly where the Phillies deserve to beKarl Ravech asks the white elephant question — “Yeah, so they’re probably not making the playoffs, huh?” Kruk gives the white elephant answer.

AUDIO (Sixers.com): DID YOU HEAR THAT?!? Doug Collins acknowledges Rod Thorn’s role in Sixers offseason team-building, as if to say that Thorn still has one. The roles of Collins’ newest toys, 2012 NBA Draftees Moe Harkless (No. 15) and Anrett Moultrie (No. 27, via trade with Miami)? Harkless says it’s capitalizing on (if not catalyzing) the team’s room for growthMoultrie says it’s pounding the boards, rapping offensive put-backs. You know, “the dirty work.”

AUDIO (CSN Philly): The Bear, Michael Leighton, sounds pretty pumped to be back in Orange and Black. (Leighton got the call-up over the weekend to back up Ilya Bryzgalov for the foreseeable future.) How’d Bryz take it? Misdirection, maybe?

AUDIO (CSN Philly): Some harmonious soccer talk: Union manager John Hackworth thinks his guys have to keep on keeping onPhilly’s 3-9-2 (ugh…) on the season.

SCRIPTUALS (ESPN): Dave Schoenfield becomes the first national writer to officially break the glass on the Phillies playoff hopes.

SCRIPTUALS (CBS): Jon Heyman wonders aloud whether the Phillies floating Cole Hamels name to MLB clubs was a feeler (to gauge his value) or to get something started for realsies.

SCRIPTUALS (FOX): Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal asks a meaningless question: “What about moving Shane Victorino?” (Commenters dutifully reply, “FOR WHAT!!!”)

SCRIPTUALS (CBS): At least somebody out there’s crusading against the principle of Buster Posey starting over Carlos Ruiz in the All-Star Game July 10. (Even though that makes Scott Miller wrong.)

SCRIPTUALS (MLB): Brittany Ghiroli with the scoopage Jim Thome’s post-trade sentiments: “I’m excited.”

SCRIPTUALS (Daily Best): After this weekend’s CNN reportBuzz Bissinger adds a descriptor to Joe Paterno’s legacyliar.

SCRIPTUALS (USA Today): Charles Barkley‘s message to Dwight Howard: “Man up.”

SCRIPTUALS (ESPN): With three consecutive major titles (Euro Cups in 2008 and 2012, World Cup in 2010), Spain has got Jeff Carlisle convinced that they’re among the best in soccer history.

SCRIPTUALS (SI): Is Jeneba Tarmoh (tied for third with Allyson Felix in 100-meter Olympic qualifier, top three advance)seriously considering quitsville before a winner-goes-to-London runoff?

STATISTICALS (Elias): Phillies have had at least three All-Star selections in four consecutive years as LHP Cole Hamels,RHP Jonathan Papelbon and C Carlos Ruiz were selected to represent the National League on July 10.

STATISTICALS (Zack Meisel, MLB): The Phillies are 36-45. That’s the first time the franchise has been nine games under .500 since 2006, their worst through 81 games since the club was 23-58 in 1997. … Juan Pierre needs one stolen base to reachtwo milestones: He would tie Hugh Duffy for 22nd place on Major League Baseball’s all-time list at 574 (needing six more after that to tie Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith for 21st place at 580) and it would mark his 12th straight season with at least 20 steals.

STATISTICALS (Dave Schoenfield, ESPN): Let’s assume it will take 88 wins to make the playoffs. …To win 88 games, the Phillies will have to go 52-29 the rest of the way — that’s a 104-win pace, or .642 winning percentage. Orbetter than the club played last season. … The Phillies have scored 347 runs and allowed 362 (they’ve underperformed their expected record by three wins). What kind of runs totals will they need to produce to win 52 games? Using the Pythagorean formula to estimate wins and losses, the Phillies would need to score 387 runs and allow 297 to produce an estimated .641 winning percentage. Is there room to add 40 runs and subtract 65?

PHILLIES PITCHING PROBABLES:

Tuesday (7:10 p.m. EST)RHP Vance Worley (4-4, 2.92 ERA) @ LHP Jon Niese (6-3, 3.55 ERA)

Wednesday (1:10 p.m. EST): LHP Cliff Lee (0-5, 4.13 ERA) @ RHP Chris Young (2-1, 3.30 ERA)

Thursday (7:10 p.m. EST)LHP Cole Hamels (10-4, 3.08 ERA) @ RHP R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.15 ERA)

ON THIS DAY:

1941Joe DiMaggio got a hit in his 45th consecutive game.

1994Colombian soccer player Andres Escobar was shot to death in Medellin10 days earlier he had scored an own goal inWorld Cup competition.

1995Hideo Nomo became the first Japanese player to be selected for a major league baseball All-Star Game.

1996Alex Rodriguez became the third youngest player to be selected to the American League All Star team (Dwight Gooden and Ken Griffey Jr.).

2002 - A record 62 home runs were hit in 16 major league baseball games.