NL East Weekly Review: 8/12- 8/18

Standings

1st- Atlanta Braves- 74-52

2nd- Washington Nationals- 67-56, 5.5 games back, 2 game lead for first Wild Card

3rd- New York Mets- 64-60, 9 games back, 1.5 games out of Wild Card

4th- Philadelphia Phillies- 64-60, 9 games back, 1.5 games out of Wild Card

5th- Miami Marlins- 45-78, 27.5 games back

Recap

PHILLIES

The Phillies opened the week with a thrilling three game sweep over the Chicago Cubs. Wednesday was an 11-1 win in the team’s first game since firing John Mallee and replacing him at hitting coach with Charlie Manuel. The biggest highlight of the series was Bryce Harper’s walk-off grand slam on Thursday that capped off a rally back from a 5-0 deficit.

Harper homered again in the next game, a three run blast to the opposite field against the Padres to give the Phils insurance runs in a 8-4 win. Over his last seven games, Harper has 4 home runs and 12 RBIs and carries a batting line of .333/.467/.833.

Despite all of this momentum and signs of a run, the Phillies would inevitably drop the next two to the Padres, ending their bid for their first five game winning streak of 2019. Zach Eflin and Nick Pivetta combined for just 5 innings and 5 runs on 10 hits in Saturday’s 5-3 loss. Jean Segura provided all of the offense on Sunday, driving in both Phillies runs and getting 2 of their 4 hits in a 3-2 loss.

Upcoming games- Two in Boston, followed by three in Miami

BRAVES

Atlanta started its week taking two of three from the Mets at home. Ronald Acuna homered again on Tuesday, his 34th on the season and 60th of his young career in a 5-3 win. 

The Braves then took two of three from the Dodgers in a clash of National League contenders. Rafael Ortega hit his second career home run in the form of a go-ahead grand slam in sixth inning. The blast erased a 3-1 Braves deficit and gave them a 5-3 win in the game and a series win. 

Upcoming games- Three at home against Miami, followed by three in New York against the Mets

NATIONALS

Washington kicked off a strong week by sweeping the Reds in three games at home. Wednesday’s win was a 17-7 blowout. The Nats scored 10 runs in the fifth inning including three home runs. 

Washington then hosted the Brewers for three in a huge series with NL Wild Card implications.The Nats took two of three, including a 16-8 pounding on Sunday in which Washington led 13-0 after three innings.

Despite Washington’s winning ways, closer Sean Doolittle is struggling. Doolittle blew the save in Washington’s only loss of the week, allowing 4 runs in the ninth inning of a wild game the Nats would lose 15-14 in the 14th inning. The left hander allowed three home runs in said ninth inning and only got one out before exiting.

Doolittle has a 7.36 ERA over his last 15 appearances. He has allowed 12 runs and 20 hits over just 14 2/3 innings pitched over that span.

Upcoming game- Seven game road trip with four in Pittsburgh, followed by three at Wrigley against the Cubs

METS

New York dropped two of three to the Braves to begin the week. The lone win came on Thursday, a 10-8 contest where the Mets collected 23 hits including five from Pete Alonso.

Alonso also tied Cody Bellinger’s 2017 rookie home record of 39 in that game. He would then break it on Sunday in the rubber match of a three game series in Kansas City. Alonso now has the record all to himself with 40 home runs in his rookie season. The Mets’ young slugger is hitting .370/.460/.750 with 6 home runs and 17 RBI over his last 15 games. 

The Mets scored 6 runs in the seventh inning on Sunday to erase a 4-3 deficit and claim a series win in Kansas City. Michael Conforto went 2-4 with a home run and 4 RBI to complement Alonso’s record setting day.

Upcoming games- Six at home with three against the Indians, followed by three against the Braves

MARLINS

The Marlins actually managed to avoid getting swept by the Dodgers, winning one game by a score of 13-7. Despite giving up 4 home runs, Miami was able to outscore the high powered Dodgers, getting 13 hits with 5 doubles. 

The Marlins then traveled to Colorado, where they were swept in three games, including a 7-6 walk-off loss in the 10th inning on Sunday.

Upcoming games- Three in Atlanta, followed by three at home against Philadelphia