NL East Weekly Review: 8/19- 8/25

Standings-

1st- Atlanta Braves- 80-52

2nd- Washington Nationals- 73-57, 6 games back, 4 game lead for first Wild Card

3rd- Philadelphia Phillies- 67-62, 11.5 games back, 1.5 games out of second Wild Card

4th- New York Mets- 67-63, 12 games back, 2 games out of second Wild Card

5th- Miami Marlins- 47-82, 32.5 games back

Recap

PHILLIES

A week that started with so much promise ended with yet another let down. The Phillies started by sweeping a two game series in Boston against the defending World Series champions. But their inability to beat the Marlins made those wins feel like a distant memory.

The Phillies once again dropped a series to the worst team in the National League. The first game was a flat out embarrassment. The pitching was once again horrendous. The team as a whole gave up 19 runs, including starter Vince Velasquez’s 7 ER, all in the third inning that erased a 7-0 Phillies lead.

Philadelphia is 7-9 against Miami this year. Every other team in the division has been able to pad their record against the Marlins except the Phillies. If Philadelphia misses the postseason this year, they can look squarely at their failure to beat Miami with any consistency as a major reason why.

Upcoming games- Six at home starting with three against the Pirates followed by three against the Mets

BRAVES

The Braves padded their large division lead and notched their 80th win this week by going a perfect 6-0 and extending their win streak to 8 games. Atlanta was able to sweep Miami at home and the Mets on the road.

The highlight of the three games against Miami was Ronald Acuna’s walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to give the Braves a 3-2 win and a sweep on Thursday. Atlanta finished the season series with Miami 15-4. Acuna punished the Marlins all season, hitting .319 with 9 home runs and 18 RBI. Acuna posted a 1.103 OPS across 83 plate appearances against Miami. 

 Then, Atlanta won its first of a sweep of three against New York with a 3-2 victory in a 14 inning marathon. Newly acquired outfielder Billy Hamilton singled in the go ahead run in the 14th to back up the Atlanta bullpen’s seven scoreless innings with 4 hits allowed. 

Upcoming games- One in Colorado in a make-up game followed by two in Toronto and then back to Atlanta for three against the White Sox

NATIONALS

Washington kicked off a full week’s slate of games by taking three of four against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Monday’s series opener was a laugher. The Nats scored 13 runs on 15 hits including 4 home runs and shutout the Pirates. The other win was another offensive onslaught coupled with great pitching with an 11-1 final.

The Nats then traveled to Wrigley for three against the Cubs where they were able to sweep Chicago to give them more breathing room in the Wild Card race. Washington finished off the sweep with a 7-5 win in 11 innings on Sunday.

Washington’s offense continued to roll in this series, scoring 23 runs in the three games. For the month of August, the Nationals are hitting an MLB best .295 as a team and have hit 40 home runs, good for sixth best in baseball during that span. 

Upcoming games- Two at home against the Orioles followed by three at home against the Marlins

METS

New York had a week of extremes. First off, they swept the Indians at home. Thursday’s win was a 2-0 shutout thanks to a brilliant start from Noah Syndergaard. The one called Thor went 6 innings while allowing 2 hits and striking out 5 with no walks. Over his last seven starts, Syndergaard is 2-2 with a 1.71 ERA across 47 1/3 innings. 

Then, New York was swept at home by the Braves. One highlight of the series for the Mets was Jacob DeGrom’s start on Friday. DeGrom went seven innings in the loss while striking out 13 and allowing one run 4 hits. He also hit his second home run of the season at the plate. 

Upcoming games- Three at home against the Cubs followed by three in Philadelphia. 

MARLINS

Miami was swept by the Braves to start the week, but they were able to continue their winning ways against the Phillies over the weekend. The Fish homered four times in Friday’s 19-11 win, with two coming from Starlin Castro. Castro went 2-3 with 5 RBIs after entering the game as a pinch hitter. 

The Marlins as a team went 9-16 with runners in scoring position and notched 10 two out RBIs. The 19 runs was a record for the team at Marlins park. 

Upcoming games- Four at home against the Reds followed by three in Washington