Chalk up another adage that is total BS. The Phils may have finished the week off with a strong win behind Adam Morgan but there is nothing that could be considered well in the state of Phillies baseball.
||Back on top
||In a freefall
||Still hanging around
||Not actually dead…yet
This would have been a lot easier to write about if it was regarding either of the teams that routed the Phils during the course of the week. Instead, it’s a different kind of easy. Thanks to Sunday’s win, the finally tally for the week was 52-22 in their seven games with Baltimore and St. Louis. Take away Sunday’s 9 run outburst (sadly, their highest this season) and it’s MUCH uglier. They averaged just over 2 runs per game during the week before Sunday all the while giving up 19, 12 and 10 respectively. I wonder if Cornelius Randolph is ready for the bigs yet?
When Jeff Francoeur and Sean O’Sullivan are two of your better pitchers in the week, you are in trouble. Frnchy threw a couple of innings (and a lot more pitches than he should have) in their first trouncing of the week, a 19-3 drubbing at the hands of the Orioles. The only other highlight came from a guy who got the call-up despite a career 13-28 record (0-6 at Lehigh Valley this season) in the minors. It worked somehow as Adam Morgan pitched 5 2/3 innings of 1 run ball and actually got some offense behind him. It was the first win for a Phillies starter since May 23. That’s almost a month if you are counting at home. Beyond that, you have to dig pretty deep in the boxscores to find many positives.
Around the N.L. East
Nationals- The week didn’t start well for the Nats after losing 3 of 4 to the Rays. Then the team got in sync and swept the Pirates. In doing so, they jumped back over the Mets to reclaim first place. The highlight of the week was Max Scherzer’s near perfect game on Saturday. Scherzer pitched 8 2/3 innings of perfect baseball before hitting a better (yes, he did lean into it, by the way) and finally finishing off the no-hitter. They will take on the Braves for 3 before coming to Citizens Bank Park for 3 which could help keep them right where they are at the top of the heap for another week.
Mets- After taking 2 games from Toronto at home early this week, once they got on the road, it was all down hill. They lost 2 in Toronto and 3 in Atlanta to fall to 2nd place and also let the Braves creep within a 1/2 game. Things went from bad to worse when they placed Dillon Gee on waivers with the intent of sending him to the minors. Once a prized prospect, Gee has been all but given up on and could potentially declare himself a free agent once he passes waivers. However, that’s unlikely since he’d be giving up his $3.1 million dollar contract if he does so. With a week that will see them taking on the Central division bottom dwelling Brewers and Reds, the Mets could potentially find themselves back on top next week if the Nats don’t hold their ground.
Braves- The Braves had the best week of the bunch. After splitting their home and home with the Red Sox, they swept the Mets to cap the week off. Despite their .500 record, they sit just two games out of 1st and a 1/2 game out of 2nd. The Braves continue to retool with yet another in-season trade sending injured utility man Phil Gosselin to Arizona for injured pitcher (and expiring contract) Bronson Arroyo and 2014 first round pick, Touki Toussaint. Who knew you could make a team better with good trades for young talent??? Going on the road to take on Washington and Pittsburgh could be a tough week. Depending how they come through it, they could find themselves potentially atop the division or they could lose some of the ground they’ve gained lately.
Marlins- The 2 best things the Marlins have going for them are 1) the combo of Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon and 2) the fact that they aren’t as bad as the Phillies. After taking 2 from the Yankees at home, the Fish went on the road and lost 4 of 5. While they will get to spend the week in the confines of Miami this week, they will have to face the Central-leading Cardinals and West-leading Dodgers.
This Phils travel to Yankee Stadium for 3 and back home to face the current N.L. East leading Nationals. Currently 13 1/2 games behind the Nats that “GB” column in the standings could look really bad this time next week if things go the way they have been lately.