1st. New York Mets- 52-44
2nd. Philadelphia Phillies- 49-49 (4 GB)
3rd. Atlanta Braves- 48-50 (5 GB)
4th. Washington Nationals- 45-53 (8 GB)
5th. Miami Marlins- 43-57 (11 GB)
New York Mets
The Mets dropped two of three to the Pirates on the road in their return from the All-Star break. They were in danger of being swept after falling behind 6-0 in the first inning of the last game. Five relievers combined to throw 8 ⅔ scoreless as the offense rallied and ultimately took the lead thanks to a two run home run from Michael Conforto in the ninth for a 7-6 win.
New York rebounded by taking two of three from the Reds in Cincinnati. Marcus Stroman threw 8 innings of one hit ball to cap off the series, finishing with seven strikeouts and just one walk. Dominic Smith led the way on offense with a grand slam in the top of the third inning in the 7-0 win.
The Mets then finally returned home for three with the Blue Jays. They took two of three from Toronto, capping off the series with a 5-4 win on Sunday. Pete Alonso hit a two run home run to tie the game in th sixth, his fifth home run in nine games since the All-Star break where he defended his home run derby title. Over his last seven, Alonso is hitting .375 with a 1.256 OPS.
Upcoming games- Five at home with the Braves followed by three at home with the Reds
The Braves dropped two of three to the Rays to start their second half schedule. The lone win was a 9-0 victory led by Max Fried on the mound and at the plate. Fried went 7 shutout innings while allowing just 4 hits and went 3-3 at the plate with two RBIs. Fried’s two out, two run double in the fourth gave Atlanta a 4-0 lead.
Atlanta then came home for what was supposed to be three with the Padres but was shortened to two due to weather. The Braves split those two games, winning the first by a score of 2-1. Touki Toussaint threw 6 ⅔ strong, allowing one run on three hits and two walks while striking out five in the win. It was Toussaint’s first appearance in ten months.
Next up was a crucial four game series in Philadelphia. Atlanta split the series, with the highlight coming in a 15-3 blowout on Saturday. The Braves totaled 5 home runs in the game, with Freddie Freeman kicking it off in the top of the first with a two run shot. Freeman has been red hot of late, hitting .411 over his last fifteen games and slugging 6 home runs over that span.
Upcoming games- Five on the road with the Mets followed by three at home with the Brewers
The Phillies opened their second half by taking three of four from the Marlins. J.T. Realmuto hit a two run, walk-off home run against his former team in the resumption of a suspended game on Sunday. In the following full game, Realmuto went 3-5 with two RBIs in a 7-4 win. Zack Wheeler battled through six innings after allowing all four runs in the third but finished with the win.
Philadelphia’s winning ways were halted in New York however as they were swept in two games by the Yankees. They allowed four home runs in a 6-4 loss in game one and lost in walk-off fashion in game two.
The struggles continued when Philadelphia returned home for four with the Braves. Philadelphia was able to squeeze out a series split however, as the rebounded from a brutal loss on Saturday with a dominant showing from Aaron Nola on Sunday. Nola went 8 ⅔ innings and allowed just one run (a home run to Austin Riley in the ninth) and four hits while striking out nine with no walks.
Upcoming games- Four at home with the Nationals followed by three in Pittsburgh
The Nats dropped two of three to the Padres to start their second half, including a 24-8 drubbing in their first game back. However, their win was an 8-7 walk-off thanks to an RBI single from Alcides Escobar. Juan Soto’s two run home run in the eighth gave the Nats the lead that they couldn’t hold, setting up Escobar’s heroics after Escobar himself pulled the Nats within one with an eighth inning solo shot before Soto.
Washington then took two of three from the Marlins at home, with the highlight being an 18-1 beat down in game one. Jon Lester threw seven shutout innings and hit his fourth career home run in the blowout. Juan Soto homered twice and collected five RBIs, while Trea Turner also homered and collected four RBIs.
The Nats then took the short trip to Baltimore for three with their interleague rivals. They were swept out of this edition of the Beltway Series, with a two run rally to win from the Orioles in the ninth inning on Sunday to cap it off.
Upcoming games- Four in Philadelphia followed by three at home with the Cubs
The Marlins dropped two of three in Philadelphia to start their second half. The win was a 7-0, two hit shutout led by Jesus Aguilar at the plate and five no hit innings from Jordan Holloway as part of a bullpen game. Aguilar went 3-3 at the plate with 4 RBIs including a two run home run. Starling Marte contributed the rest of the offense, finishing 3-4 with 3 RBIs and a two run home run.
Miami then dropped two of three in Washington to the Nats. They won 3-1 in the final game of the series after scoring two in the top of the tenth to take the lead. Jorge Alfaro’s double gave the Marlins the lead and Miguel Rojas added an insurance run on a sacrifice fly. Yimi Garcia notched his 14th save with a perfect bottom of the tenth.
The Marlins then returned home for four with the Padres. They split those four games with one of the wins being an impressive start from 23-year-Old Braxton Garrett. The young lefty threw seven innings and allowed just two runs (both home runs) on four hits while striking out 10 while walking one. It was just the fourth start of the season for Garrett and only the sixth of his young career.