N.L. East Wrapup

Things are starting to come around as the Mets are coming back to the pack, which is chock full of everything but Philly teams.

W L PCT GB Streak L10
New York Mets 16 10 .615 L2 3-7
Atlanta Braves 12 13 .480 3.5 W1 4-6
Miami Marlins 12 13 .480 3.5 L1 8-2
Washington Nationals 12 14 .462 4 W2 5-5
Philadelphia Phillies 9 17 .346 7 W1 4-6

The week started off well with a win over the Cards (Hamels’ first)…then the wheels came off. Severino Gonzalez got his first start in the majors on Tuesday. It was one he’s like to forget as the Cards touched him up for 10 hits and 7 runs in 2.2 innings. That was just the first of 5 straight losses for the Phils which finally came to an end on Sunday afternoon. Gonzalez came back around on Sunday to get his first MLB win showing the promise the team has seen in him. Despite the poor 2-5 week, the division hasn’t yet run off and hidden. Yet.The Week in Philly

Offense

Stop me if you’ve heard this but the offense still hasn’t come around. A number of everyday players are still batting well below .200. Chase Utley is hitting a putrid .108. While he had a big HR on Friday night, he simply can’t be counted on at this point, especially in the 3-hole. And for those who know me, that is one of the toughest things for me to type on this keyboard. I will give him credit to say that he has been somewhat snake bitten (see 3 bombs to left center in the St. Louis series that were all run down in the same exact spot) but his average is his average and there isn’t a python big enough to keep him that far down at this point in the season. The lone bright spots are still Galvis, Herrera and Asche. The youth is certainly earning their keep. Sandberg needs to find a way to balance the lineup. Hitting Utley 3rd and Galvis 8th isn’t it.

Pitching

The pitching continues to be hit or miss. They have their blowout moments (7-0 trouncing by the Fish on Saturday) and there have been a few gems (some wasted by the offense) like Hamels dominating outing on Monday. The bullpen is still lights out at the back end although Giles and Papelbon both got touched up for their first earned runs this week. I’ll repeat it until it happens or it’s obviously never going to happen but, if they can just stay consistent, and the offense ever comes around. Chad Billingsley will make his season debut this week. Another veteran arm in the rotation will hopefully remove the risk of starting another young guy who just isn’t ready.

Around the N.L. East

Mets- The Mets started coming back to the pack. Starting with a Sunday night loss to the Yankees, the Mets had a 2-6 week which cut their lead over the Braves and Marlins¬†from 5 and 6.5 games respectively to 3.5 over both. The offense has cooled significantly as evidenced by a weekend shutout against the Nats (4-0, 1-0, 1-0). I’d expect the trend to continue. The main question is how long they can hold on to their current spot at the top.

Braves- The Braves only gained ground thanks to the Mets stumble. A 3-4 week which included back to back ¬†13-12 and 13-4 losses to the Nats certainly doesn’t do anything for those tomahawk chopping fans in Atlanta.

Marlins- A 4-2 week and 8-2 in their last 10 makes them the hottest team in the division right now. They have 3 more against the Nats before a 7 game west coast swing that could prove if they are for real.

Nats- The Nats finally started their run as well. After a loss on Monday which was their 6th in a row, they finished off the week winning 5 of 6. They gained 3 games on the Mets and moved just a 1/2 game behind the Braves and Marlins.

The Phils will play the Braves and Mets again this week. Will the offense finally show up and let them gain some ground as the other teams did this past week? Or will they concede more ground and bury themselves? Tune in and find out. I know I’ll be watching…or at least checking in.

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