Week three is in the books and the top four teams are all within 1.5 games for the division lead. This week will see the top four branch outside the division and it will be interesting to see if any of them can pull ahead from the others. Lets jump into this week’s NL East Rundown. For those that missed last week, click here.
1) Philadelphia Phillies (12-9) (3-4 in the past week) (Last week ranked 2)
The Phillies started the week off with a statement as they took two of three from the Mets. In game two of the series, the Phillies scored 10 runs in the first inning as they went on to win 14-3. The Phillies deep offense was able to knock out Steven Matz before he even recorded an out.
Philly than dropped three of four to the struggling Colorado Rockies. The Phillies offense went quiet as the starters stuggled. Aaron Nola has failed to pitch like the ace he is. He currently has a 6.84 ERA. At the same time, he is 2-0. Philly will need him to return to his 2018 form in order for them to take control of the division.
2) New York Mets (11-10) (2-5 in the past week)
The Mets had a rough week as they dropped both series to the Phillies and the Cardinals respectively. The pitching staff was beat up as they were without Jacob deGrom who was added to the IL. Luckily for deGrom and the Mets, his MRI was negative and he should return this Friday.
Edwin Diaz continues to be a bright spot as he is a perfect 7/7 in save opportunities with an ERA of 1.17. He has picked up where he left off last season and has brought stability to the ninth inning for the Mets. Unfortunately for Diaz, the Mets offense has become stagnant and not offering him the amount of save opportunities he needs.
Pete Alonzo and Brandon Nimmo will need to continue their hot starts as the rest of the offense finds themselves.
3) Atlanta Braves (11-10) (3-4 in the past week)
Atlanta struggled this week as they were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks. They took two of three from the Indians, but game one was postponed due to weather. Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman have continued to do what they do best. The three will need for more help from offense as their young pitchers try to right themselves.
Max Fried has been impressive as he is now 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA. He went 6.1 innings against the Indians, as he struck out six and only gave up two runs. Atlanta will need more from him as they try to win back to back division titles.
4) Washington Nationals (10-10) ( 3-3 in the past week)
Washington played .500 ball for the second week in a row. They took two of three from the Sam Fransisco Giants but lost two of three to the rival Marlins. The Marlins roughed up ace Max Scherzer for six runs as he fell to 1-3. Washington needs more from Scherzer as he currently has a 4.45 ERA. Stephen Strasburg continued his inconsistency as he went eight shutout innings with 11 strikeouts against the Marlins. Washington will need more from there top three as the bullpen is still inconsistent at best.
5) Miami Marlins (6-16) (2-4 in the past week)
The Marlins started the week off by being swept by the Chicago Cubs and were shutout in two of the three games. Miami was able to salvage the week by taking two of three from Washington. The highlight of the series for Miami was when they scored six runs against Max Scherzer. It was very uncommon of him to struggle like that.
Miami will try to play spoiler as they have an upcoming series against the Indians. Any extra losses for the Indians could cost them this year.
NL East Player of the week
Maikel Franco- The eigtgh hitter for the Phillies has been making noise this season. He was moved down in the order due to the arrival of Bryce Harper, J.T. Reamulto, Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura. Instead of moping he has provided a much needed spark from the bottom of the order. This past week he hit .310 with two home runs, and an OPS of .909. He was able to come through when needed against the Mets. He smashed a three run homer as part of the ten run onslaught.
Honorable Mention- Stephen Strasburg, Edwin Diaz,
New York Mets- Ace Jacob deGrom was placed on the 10 day IL with elbow soreness. His MRI came back negative and announced he plans on starting Friday.
Washington Nationals- Max Scherzer tweaked his left intercostal on Saturday after attempting to get the way out of a foul ball. It doesn’t look like he will be heading to the IL and plans on making his next start. This is something to look at as he has struggled early and doesn’t need anything else derailing his season.
Anthony Rendon- Has missed the past few games with a left elbow contusion and is trying to avoid a stint on the IL.
For another consecutive week, Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel remain unsigned. Washington, Atlanta, Philly and New York can all use one or the other.
Feature Image From Bleacher Report
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