Week 13 has ended and there is only one week before the All Star break. Atlanta has a six game lead in the division, while Philly and Washington are slowly closing in. New York has been falling behind while Miami has quietly been making ground on them. Miami is now only four games out of fourth place in the NL East. Without further ado, here is this week’s NL East rundown. For those that missed last week’s issue, click here.
1) Atlanta Braves (50-34) (4-2 in the past week) (Sunday’s match ended late) (Last week ranked 1)
Atlanta has continued to cruise as they split a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs, before winning two straight against the Mets. The final game of the series ended late.
Dallas Keuchel made his second start of the season on Thursday and earned his first win as a Brave. The former Cy Young winner went 5.2/3 innings and only gave up three runs on eight hits. He walked three and struck out two. Keuchel is still working the dust off, but will be a valuable asset for the Braves moving forward.
Mike Soroka had a dominating performance on Friday despite leaving the game early the time before that due to being hit by a pitch. Against the Mets, Soroka went 6.1/3 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits. He walked none and struck out four. The 21-year-old has improved to 9-1 with a 2.13 ERA and 67 strikeouts. Soroka has been vital to the Braves success and is only showing a glimpse of his potential. That’s scary to think about.
2) Philadelphia Phillies (44-40) (5-2 in the past week) (Last week ranked 2)
The Phillies started the week off by sweeping the Mets to get out of their funk. They then lost two straight to the Marlins before they won the last game of the series on Sunday.
On Thursday the Phillies were able to walk off the Mets 6-3 after they gave up the lead in the top of the ninth. Maikel Franco hit a two-run homer to tie it, while Jean Segura hit a three-run shot to end it. What was even more impressive was that the comeback came while Edwin Diaz was pitching. Diaz gave up all five runs and was only able to get one out. This game showed that despite Phillies recent slump, they still have what it takes to turn things around.
3) Washington Nationals (42-41) (5-1 in the past week) (Last week ranked 3)
Washington took advantage of an easy week by sweeping the Miami Marlins and then took two of three from the Detroit Tigers.
Washington has been a different team since May 24 when they were swept in a four-game series by the Mets. Since then, the Nats have gone 23-10 and are now over .500 for the first time since April 18 when they were 9-8. A healthy offense and a slowly improving bullpen, as well as a dominating starting rotation, has been the difference.
Washington has upcoming series against the Marlins and Kansas City Royals. If they can take advantage of the easy schedule, they will more than likely be buyers at the trade deadline. If that is the case, look for the front office to acquire some more bullpen help.
4) New York Mets (37-47) (0-6 in the past week) (Sundays match ended late (Last week ranked 4)
The Mets woes continue as they went 0-6 this week. They were swept by the Phillies in a four-game series, and then lost two more to the Braves. The final game of the series ended late.
Pete Alonso continues to rake as he hit his 28th home run this week, which is the second most in the majors behind only Cristian Yelich. The 24-year-old rookie is hitting .278 with 28 home runs, 62 RBIs and has an OPS of 1.001. Alonso has been a bright spot in what has been a disappointing first half for the Mets.
The All-Star break can’t come soon enough for the injured Mets. They will need the week off to recover and regroup to mount a comeback. New York is 13 games behind the Braves in the division, but they are only seven games out of the wildcard. If Washington can turn their season around, why can’t the Mets?
5) Miami Marlins (32-50) (2-4 in the past week) (Last week ranked 5)
Miami was swept by Washington but ended the week on a high note as they took two of three from the Phillies. Miami had won five straight against the Phillies before they lost on Sunday.
On Saturday the Marlins were down 6-1 to the Phillies in the fifth inning before pulling off an entertaining comeback. Led by Neil Walker who went 2-4 with three RBIs, the Marlins went on to win 9-6. The fish scored six runs in the seventh inning to shock the Phillies. Miami will take all the small victories they can get, and this was an exciting win for them.
NL East Player of the week
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals-
Washington’s ace went 2-0 this week with 24 strikeouts, and only gave up two runs and zero walks. Scherzer started the season 2-5 due to not receiving any run support as well as the bullpen blowing leads. But things have changed since June 1, Scherzer is 6-0 with 68 strikeouts, with an ERA of .97. He has been a huge reason Washington has been able to turn their season around.
Honorable Mention- Pete Alonso (Mets), Garret Cooper (Marlins)
Atlanta Braves- Ozzie Albies is day to day. He left the game early on Saturday after being hit by a pitch.
Miami Marlins- Martin Prado was placed on 10-day IL June 14. He has started hitting and throwing as of June 25.
New York Mets- Jeurys Familia was placed on the 10 day IL on June 18. He was sent on a Class A rehab assignment on June 28.
Philadelphia Phillies- Jay Bruce was not in the starting lineup on Saturday. He has left elbow tightness.
Washington Nationals- Kyle Barraclough was placed on the 10 day IL on June 16. He threw a side session on June 26.
NL East Headlines
Ten players from the NL East made the All-Star team- The All-Star rosters were announced on Sunday and ten players from the NL East made the team. Below is every player that made it from the NL East teams.
Atlanta- Freddie Freeman (starter), Ronald Acuna Jr. (starter), Mike Soroka.
Miami- Sandy Alcantara
New York- Pete Alonzo, Jeff McNeil, Jacob deGrom
Philadelphia- J.T. Realmuto,
Washington- Anthony Rendon, Max Scherzer
Feature Image From Bleacher Report
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