Buckle up folks, we’re coming in for a landing. There wasn’t a lot to write home about this week but if the Phils did anything right, they did all but lock up that #1 pick. The Phils went 0-6 with sweeps by Washington and Atlanta, the latter giving the Phils a 4 game edge for the wort record in baseball. Now it’s all about balancing trying to avoid the 100 loss mark with keeping ahead of the Braves.
What offense? After losing 8-7 in 11 to the Nats on Monday, the offense went on to score a total of 5 runs in the next 5 games. The bats have gone to sleep for much of the last 2 weeks. And when their leading hitter, Odubel Herrera, gets benched for “pouting”, you can expect that things aren’t going to get much better.
Unlike the offense, the pitching actually fared quite well this week. While they allowed 30 runs over 6 games, 20 were in 2. The remaining 4 games they held their opponents to 4, 2,2 and 2. So what if the last 3 were against he equally inept Braves. 3 of the 6 losses were on the bullpen. Aaron Nola once again had a quality outing but got no support in his attempt to become the team leader in wins.
Around the N.L. East
Mets– The front-runners have had a rough week heading into Sunday night’s rubber match with the Yankees. After losing 2 of 3 to the Marlins who have relished the role of spoiler the last couple weeks, the Mets took game one with the Yankees then lost game 2 on Saturday. In the process, they watched their lead drop by 3 games to 6.5. Matt Harvey takes the mound for the first time in 12 days on Sunday night hoping to make it a 7 game lead with 13 to go. The advantage is their remaining schedule. With 3 against Atlanta then 4 at Cincy, it will likely be on the Nats to keep pace.
Nationals- The Nationals went 6-1 against the Phillies and Marlins to game some much needed ground on the Mets. They still have their work cut out for them though. With Baltimore and the Phillies on the schedule this week, they’ll have an opportunity if the Mets don’t take care of business.
Marlins– The Marlins once again did their best to play spoiler. After beating up the Nats 2 weeks ago, they went into New York and took 2 of 3 from the Mets. They took the first of 4 from the Nats before losing the next 3. They won’t get an opportunity this week to mess with anyone’s playoff hopes as they will face the two teams looking up at them in the division, the Phils and Braves.
Braves– The Braves actually snuck out of the Toronto series with a win. After taking the first game, the Jays then proceeded to drub them 14-1 over the next 2 games. They then proceeded to sweep the Phils with back-to-back-to-back 2-1 wins. The sweep hurt but hasn’t killed their shot at the #1 pick. Games against the Mets and Marlins this week could possibly get them back in it if the Phillies show any life.
As the Phils kick off the final 2 weeks of the season, they will welcome Miami and Washington to CBP. Needing to win 7 of their last 12 to avoid the 100 loss mark, they’ll need to put up a few of those W’s this week. It will be interesting to see whether they play for pride or draft position.