Week nine has come to a close and once again Philly remains in first in the NL East. New York has won six of their past seven to be at .500 once again. The Braves are only two games behind the Phillies, but have yet to close the gap. Now without further ado, here is this week’s NL East rundown. For those that missed last week’s issue, click here.
1) Philadelphia Phillies (31-22) (4-3 in the past week) (Last week ranked 1)
The Phillies split with the Chicago Cubs, and then took two of three against the Milwaukee Brewers. Philly was able to survive a tough road trip against the NL Central as they now return home to face the St. Louis Cardinals. They have a two-game lead over the Braves and will need to be almost perfect if they want to stay in first.
The 2013 NL MVP, Andrew McCutchen, looks like his old self as he is hitting .414 with two home runs over the past week. His resurgence is crucial to the Phillies as he brings an extra dimension to their offense.
Jake Arrieta also had a solid outing against his former team. Arrieta was greeted by the Cubs fans with a standing ovation during his first at-bat. Arrieta went six innings and only gave up one run, as he struck out four. He received a no-decision.
2) Atlanta Braves (29-24) (Sunday’s game ended late) (4-2 in the past week) (Last week ranked 2)
The Braves took three of four from the Giants and are currently split with the Cardinals. The rubber match ended after this article was written. The Braves have been able to stay within an arms reach of the Phillies, but have been unable to pass them.
Atlanta called up prospect Austin Riley and he is giving the team a reason to let him stay up. Over his 11 games in the majors, he is hitting .341 with five home runs and has an OPS of 1.097. The 22-year-old looks solid at third base, but has committed two errors over the span of nine games in left field. Riley’s hot start has given Atlanta a needed boost as they attempt to catch the Phillies.
3) New York Mets (26-26) (6-1 in the past week) (Last week ranked 3)
The Mets had the best week out of any team in the NL East. They pulled off a four-game sweep over the Nationals and then took two of three against the Detroit Tigers.
The Mets were able to rally when down in the eighth inning against the Nationals in three of the four games. New York has put themselves back in a position to catch back up to the Phillies as the offense has picked themselves up. Unfortunately for the Mets, slugger Yoenis Cespedes will not return this season as he fractured both his ankles. He will look to return to the team in 2020.
4) Washington Nationals (22-31) (3-4 in the past week) (Last week ranked 4)
Washington had a tough beginning of the week. They were swept by the rival Mets where the bullpen continued to lose games. The Nats bullpen blew a lead in the eighth inning in the last three games of the series.
Washington was able to then win the next three against the Marlins as the series finale is Monday. Washington’s offense has finally come alive as they have scored 36 runs over the last three games. Patrick Corbin gave the Nationals bullpen a day off as he threw a complete game shutout Saturday night. He struck out five, walked one, and only gave up four hits. This was the Nats first three-game win streak of the season.
5) Miami Marlins (16-34) (3-3 in the past week) (Last week ranked 5)
The Marlins swept the Tigers and brought their win streak up to six games before they lost three straight against the Nats. The final game of the series is Monday, so the Marlins will try to avoid a sweep. The Marlins will be facing ace Max Scherzer, but fortunately for them, they scored six runs against him last time out. They will look to repeat this.
NL East Player of the week
Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves– Swanson had an impressive week as he hit .370 with three homers and had an OPS of 1.097. On Friday he hit two home runs to help his team beat the Cardinals 5-2. For the season Swanson is hitting with 10 home runs and an OPS of .805. This is just a glimpse of the potential he posses and if he can finally put things together, the Braves will be in a great position to win the division for the second straight year.
Honorable Mention: Patrick Corbin, Anthony Rendon, Andrew McCutchen
Miami Marlins- Riley Ferrel was sent on a Triple A rehab assignment on May 22nd.. He has been on the 60 day IL.
New York Mets- Robinson Cano was placed on the 10 day IL with a left quad strain on May 23rd.
Philadelphia Phillies- Pat Neshek was placed on the 10 day IL with a right shoulder strain on May 25th.
Washington Nationals- Jeremy Hellickson was placed on the 10 day IL with a right shoulder strain on May 21st.
Washington- Look for the Nationals phones to start ringing if they continue to lose games.
Feature Image From Bleacher Report
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