The final week of the season is upon us and the Atlanta Braves have won the NL East for the second straight year. Washington is currently tied with Milwaukee for the first Wild Card spot, while New York and Philly are still fighting for a playoff spot. Miami just hit triple digits in the loss column as all they have left is to look toward next season. Without further ado here is this week’s NL East Rundown. For those that missed last weeks, click here.
1) Atlanta Braves (96-61) (3-3 in the past week) (Last week ranked 1)
Atlanta had an up and down week as they lost two of three from the Phillies, before they rebounded by taking two of three from the San Fransisco Giants.
The Braves have won the division for the second straight year and only need four more wins to become the fourth team this year to reach 100. This would be the first time in MLB history that four or more teams attained 100+ wins in a season. The Minnesota Twins also have 96 wins and could match this milestone.
Unfortunately, Atlanta received some devastating news as utility man Charlie Culberson was placed on the 60 day IL and won’t return till next season. This is a huge blow as he was one of their best bench players.
2) Washington Nationals (85-69) (3-3 in the past week) (Last week ranked 2)
Washington lost two of three to the St. Louis Cardinals before taking two of three from the Miami Marlins.
Washington’s bullpen problems are re-occurring at the most inoperable time. They blew a 3-1 lead over the Marlins on Sunday and ended up losing 5-3. The Milwaukee Brewers tied the Nats for the first Wild Card spot with a win over Pittsburgh. Washington has a five-game series against the Phillies before ending the season with Cleveland. The magic number for the Nats is five and they can not afford any more bullpen implosions.
3) New York Mets (81-74) (4-2 in the past week) (Last week ranked 3)
The Mets had another solid week as they took two of three from both the Colorado Rockies and Cincinnati Reds.
New York is four and a half games back of the Wild Card and despite their recent surge, are making up little ground. The pitching staff led by Jacob deGrom has been lights out, but it might be too late. New York needs either a collapse from Washington or Milwaukee to have a chance at a Wild Card.
4) Philadelphia Phillies (79-74) (3-2 in the past week) (Last week ranked 4) Sunday’s game ended late
The Phillies took two of three from the Braves before splitting the first two games against the Cleveland Indians. Sunday’s rubber match ended late.
The Phillies have a five-game series against the Nationals and must win at least four to keep their Wild Card hopes alive. They are five and a half games back and may have already run out of time. ESPN gives the Phillies a 0.1 percent chance of making the playoffs.
5) Miami Marlins (54-101) (2-4 in the past week) (Last week ranked 5)
The Marlins lost two of three to both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals.
The front office has come to terms on a two-year extension with manager Don Mattingly.
Jon Heyman tweeted out the news.
Don Mattingly is bring extended by Marlins for 2 years plus an option. @DanielAlvarezEE 1st to mention extension.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) September 20, 2019
Through the first four years as the teams’ manager, Mattingly has a losing record. But that should not be a surprise after the team’s fire sale in the summer of 2017.
Jeff Passan tweeted the following.
Don Mattingly's two-year contract extension as Miami Marlins manager may look like a shocker considering the club's record. Management believes he has extracted the best out of a bad situation and can help transition young position-playing talent to complement plenty of pitching.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 20, 2019
Mattingly gets to oversee the next stage of the rebuild and hopefully, he will be around long enough to reap the benefits of his labor.
NL East Player of the week
Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves- Acuna became the third player in MLB history to hit 40 or more homers in a season before turning 21. Hall of Famer’s Mel Ott and Eddie Mathews were the first two to accomplish this feat.
Acuna is 3 steals short of 40 and would become the youngest player ever to reach the 40/40 club. Acuna was a key part in his team winning the NL East for the second straight year.
Atlanta Braves- Charlie Culberson was placed on the 60 day IL September 17 with a fractured right cheekbone. He is out for the season.
Miami Marlins- Jordan Yamamoto has been on the IL since August 28 with a right forearm strain. He threw a simulated game on September 16.
New York Mets- NA
Philadelphia Phillies- Corey Dickinson was moved to the 60 day IL September 17 with a fractured left foot. He is out for the season.
Washington Nationals- Matt Adams has been out since September 12 with an AC joint sprain in his left shoulder. He took batting practice on September 20.
Feature Image From Bleacher Report
“From Our Haus to Yours”