Bookends

The week started off with a bang and ended the same way. Those couple days in between were not quite as pretty with 3 losses and the resignation of their manager, Ryne Sandberg.

W L PCt. GB Strk Notes
Nationals 42 34 .553 L1 Padded their lead
Mets 40 37 .519 2.5 W4 Not going away
Braves 36 40 .474 6 W1 Dropping fast
Marlins 31 46 .403 11.5 L1 Dropping faster
Phillies 27 50 .351 15.5 W1 Like a bag of stones

Offense

Things¬†started really well up in New York where the Phils put up back to back 11-run wins mostly behind the bat of Maikel Franco. Franco had 2 straight games with 5 RBI’s at Yankee Stadium, with a HR in each game. With 18 hits on Monday and 11 on Tuesday, it looked like “hitting season” had begun. Then they scored 6 runs over the next 3 games before putting up another 8 spot to end the week with a split of a double header on Sunday. The win on Sunday saw the Phils put up 16 hits although 15 of them were singles. Cesar Hernandez led the way going 6 for 8 with 3 steals in the double header. While Chase Utley is on the DL, Hernandez will get his opportunity to show why “the man” should spend a little more time on the bench under interim manager, Pete Mackanin.

Pitching

Severino Gonzalez was the only starter to get a win this week as the starters couldn’t keep the other offenses in check even in the midst of offensive breakouts. O’Sullivan, Hamels and Harang got torched. The bullpen was up and down with a few shutdowns as well as a few clunkers. This inconsistency is just one of the reasons the Phils find themselves unable to finish close ball games.

Around the N.L. East

Nationals– The Nats managed to increase their lead over the entire division. Finally putting everything together, they had won 8 straight (including a sweep of the Braves) before losing the “nightcap” with the Phils on Sunday. The offense and defense are both dealing. Scherzer followed up his no-hitter of the Pirates by going 6 perfect innings against the Phils on Friday before finally getting touched up. It’s the 3rd straight game he has taken a no-hitter into at least the 6th inning. The Nats will go to Atlanta then hos the Giants for 3 games. After already sweeping them last week, the Nats will look to finally push the Braves out of the race. The Giants may be the key to seeing what kind of team the Nats can be though as they’ve yet to truly show they are the dominant N.L. East team.

Mets– The Mets had lost 7 straight before a win over Milwaukee and a weekend sweep of the Reds. The capper of the week was Sunday’s win which saw rookie Steven Matz make his debut in a big way. In addition to 7.2 of 2 run ball, Matz went 3-3 at the plate with 4 RBI’s, making him the first player in Mets history with 4 RBI’s in his debut. The Mets host the Cubs for 3 before heading to the West Coast. Their offense is not exactly firing on all cylinders (Matz excluded) but if the pitching can hold up, they may just stay in the race.

BravesРAfter 5 straight losses, the Braves were able to squeeze one win out against he Pirates on Sunday. After scoring just 10 runs during the week, they offense has shriveled up and the Braves are finding themselves gaining more ground on the Marlins and Phils than on the Mets and Nationals. With another 3 game set against the Nats this week, the bugler may just be playing taps by the end of the week. On the other hand, they also have 3 against the Phils so that has to give them some hope.

Marlins– Giancarlo Stanton will miss 4-6 weeks. What else needs to be said. They’ve lost 9 of 11 but the Stanton loss is probably the worst of them all. With series against the Giants and Cubs this week, the Marlins will likely start a downward slide.

This Phils will start their first full week under Pete Mackanin with 4 games against Milwaukee before heading to Atlanta. If ever there was a week to try and climb out of the basement, this is it. It may not mean much in the long run but it’s something.

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