The Phils appeared to realize what their jump in the standings meant and decided to let the Brewers gain some ground as well as letting the Fish jump back up…all intentionally, of course.
Amid tons of trade speculation, Chase Utley has played extremely well since his return from the DL. Mixing and matching lineups and positions, Pete Mackanin has found a way to get everyone playing time. It hasn’t helped this week as the Phils lost 5 of 6 while scoring just 14 runs. The timely hitting we’ve seen the last few weeks disappeared while the Phillies hitting with RISP went into the tank.
Aaron Harang was trounced for 19 runs in 2 games this week. Aaron Nola got his 3rd straight win. I think I’ll keep the latter Aaron. Adam Morgan and Jerome Williams had good outings but got no help from their offense. David Buchanan? 11 runs in 1 inning? Time to find out who’s next in the pecking order of minor league pitchers.
Around the N.L. East
Mets– The Mets started out the week with a 4 game sweep of the Rockies but ended it being swept out by the Pirates. It was a good enough week for them to extend their lead over the Nats by 3 games to 4 1/2. The pitching was strong as always except for the series finale with the Buccos but the offense was stagnant for much of the week. If they can get both sides of the ball working consistently at the same time at any point, they may just run away with this division. The Mets have a short week with only 5 games this week but it won’t be an easy start with 2 against Baltimore before heading to Colorado for 3.
Nationals– The Nats can’t wait for August to end. After losing 6 straight on the west coast after a series opening win over the Dodgers, the Nats are now 4-12 in August. Monday’s off day (their first this month) will be a welcome sight. They will finish their west coast swing with 3 in Colorado before heading home to face the Brewers. That combination may be just what they need after a lot of losing of late.
Braves– The Braves also lost ground after a 2-3 week. After a 2 game sweep by the Rays, the Braves stole 2 of 3 from Arizona. At 9 1/2 out, they need to put a run together soon or any slim chance they have of sneaking into the division race will disappear completely. They will go on the road for 3 in San Diego before a 4 game set against a hot Cubs team. Anything short of an above .500 week should officially bury them.
Marlins– The Fish may already be fried but they had a really good week nonetheless. Finishing a 3-2 week against Boston and St. Louis. This week will see them facing a few of their bottom-dwelling opponents. They will start the week with 3 in Milwaukee before going home for 4 against the Phils. Both of those series will have a huge impact on the standings and ultimately the draft order in 2016.
The Phillies had a rough week and this week won’t start off any easier. They will take on the red hot Blue Jays for 2 at home before going to Miami for 4 in a key battle for draft position. The biggest question of the week may just be whether it will be Chase Utley’s last week in pinstripes. With multiple offers apparently on the table, Chase and the Phils are not likely to sit on them for too long.