Or maybe the fateful moment was May 24. They were off that day with a 3 1/2-game lead in the division. But that night, the Flyers beat the Montreal Canadiens to advance to the Stanley Cup finals.
And since 1983, Philadelphia hasn't had two teams make the finals of their sport in the same calendar year. It could be a coincidence, but the Phillies went to New York and were swept by the Mets after that and have been struggling ever since.
* Former Phillie watch: Remember Gio Gonzalez? The Phillies got the lefthander from the White Sox in December 2005 as part of the Aaron Rowand deal. A year later, he was shipped back to Chicago, along with Gavin Floyd, for Freddy Garcia.
That turned out to be one of the worst trades the Phillies have made in recent years. Garcia won one game for the Phils and was paid $10 million to do it.
Floyd, a former No. 1 draft choice, has won 32 games for Chicago over the last 2 1/2 years. And Gonzalez, now with Oakland, is 7-6 with a 3.79 earned run average even after being knocked around by the Yankees on Wednesday night.
* Homer, sweet homer: Last year the Phillies were one of only four teams in the majors with at least 200 home runs (224) and 100 stolen bases (119). It was the third straight year they had done it. Not coincidentally, they made the postseason each year.
This year at the mathematical midpoint of the season they were on pace to hit 166 homers and steal 80 bases. Just saying.
* Aloha state of mind: Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino and catcher Dane Sardinha are the first native Hawaiians ever to start a major league game for the same team.