At one point Sunday afternoon, the Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Cleveland Indians trailed by a combined 22-0. Not too surprisingly, none of these three major league baseball teams were able to stage a comeback - although the scrappy Reds did make it interesting dropping a 9-7 decision to the New York Mets.
The visiting Buccos fell 5-2 to the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Tribe was routed 10-1 by the host Detroit Tigers, averting a shutout with a run in the ninth inning.
Now, it's the All-Star break, and time for the Reds, Pirates and Indians, all playing under .500 ball, to regroup. Mathematically, all three are still in the hunt for a postseason berth, but then again, so are the hapless Washington Nationals - and if they somehow do get their act together then you-know-what will definitely freeze over.
Thing is, there's a lot of baseball remaining to be played in the second half of the season, and looking at it optimistically, there's still time for the Reds, Pirates and Indians to make up ground.
Realistically, though, making plans for the playoffs in October would be premature to say the least.
If you were to ask representatives and players from the Reds, Pirates and Indians to grade themselves in the first half of the season, it's doubtful any of them would select anything higher than a "C."
With that in mind, let's briefly take a look at each ballclub, starting with the Reds.
After Sunday, Cincinnati owned a 42-45 record, and was in fifth-place in the National League West. The Reds, though, are only 4-1/2 games behind the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals.
This division is wide open, and if the Reds get hot after the All-Star break, they certainly can be a team to be reckoned with. They have the pitching and one of the best hitters in MLB in Joey Votto to make a move in the right direction.
What the Reds need to do - and they know this - is be more consistent on the diamond. Easier said than done.
The same can also be said for Pittsburgh, the owner of a 38-50 mark, good for last place in the NL Central. The Pirates trail the Cardinals by only nine games, a manageable figure.
Just before the All-Star break, Pittsburgh, a relatively young team, was swept by the Phillies - and it shouldn't have happened. On Saturday night, the Buccos led 7-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning and ended up getting beat 8-7.
The Pirates need to protect the lead better, and if they can do that, they're certainly capable of making some noise in the second half of the season.
As for Cleveland, fans have to be downright worried. The Indians are 35-54, 14 games behind the first-place Tigers in the American League Central.
Mind you, two short years ago, the Tribe was one win away from appearing in the World Series. Now, they appear to be frustrated and in disarray.
If the Indians don't improve any - in just about every phase of the game - in the second half, they could be flirting with their first 100-loss season since 1991.
The Tribe needs to regain its confidence and swagger, and if they can also put together a double-digit winning streak, there's still hope for a possible fantastic finish. It's been done before and can be done again. Just ask the 2007 Colorado Rockies team.
All the Reds, Pirates and Indians have to do is keep the faith. If they do that, their fans won't be disappointed.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441, or firstname.lastname@example.org