NL East Weekly Review: 9/2-9/8

Standings

1st- Atlanta Braves- 89-55

2nd- Washington Nationals- 79-63, 9 games back, three games up in first Wild Card 

3rd- Philadelphia Phillies- 74-68, 14 games back, 2 games back of second Wild Card

4th- New York Mets- 72-70, 16 games back, 4 games back of second Wild Card

5th- Miami Marlins- 51-91, eliminated from everything 

Recap

PHILLIES

The Phillies yet again squandered an opportunity to advance in the Wild Card race to start the week. Philadelphia did manage to split four games with Cincinnati, but they needed more. The two losses featured a game in which the Phillies erased a 5-0 deficit just for the bullpen to implode and another game that ended in a 3-4 extra innings loss. 

Where they failed to gain ground early in the week, the Phillies succeeded over the weekend. Philadelphia was able to take two of three from the Mets in New York. Drew Smyly threw a gem on Saturday, going seven shutout innings while allowing 4 hits with 6 strikeouts. 

The series clinching win on Sunday, coupled with a Cubs loss, allowed the Phils to climb back to within two games of the second Wild Card.

Upcoming games- Six at home with four against the Braves and two against the Red Sox

BRAVES

The Braves just cannot seem to lose easily. 

First, they swept a two game series against Toronto to push their winning streak to 6 games. The combined score of these two games was 13-5. Atlanta then won three of four in Washington but had their win streak snapped at 9 with a loss on Sunday. Saturday’s game was a 5-4 win that featured 4 home runs from the Braves. 

One of those home runs was the 36th from Josh Donaldson. The former AL MVP has seemingly returned to form this season as those 36 home runs are tied for 10th best in baseball.

Upcoming games- Four in Philadelphia, followed by three in Washington

NATIONALS

Where the Braves are hot, the Nats are cold. 

Washington started the week dropping two of three to the Mets. The win was a wild one as the Nats erased a 10-4 deficit in the ninth inning by scoring 7 runs to win. Kurt Suzuki capped off the historic comeback with a three run walk-off home run. 

The Nats then started a rough series in Atlanta where they dropped three of four. The lone win came Sunday in a 9-4 victory fueled by a strong Max Scherzer outing. Scherzer went 6 innings while allowing 2 hits and one earned run with 9 strikeouts. 

Upcoming games- Three in Minnesota, followed by three at home against the Braves

METS

New York took two of three from the Nats to start the week. A night after a historic bullpen meltdown, the Mets rebounded to win 8-4 to take the series. Robinson Cano went 3-3 in the game with 2 RBIs and his 11th home run. 

The Mets then came home for three against the Phillies, where they dropped two of three. The lone win came in the first game of the series, thanks to a walk-off walk from Pete Alonso in the bottom of the ninth. 

Upcoming games- Seven game homestand with four against the surging D-Backs, followed by three against the Dodgers

MARLINS

Miami managed to take two of three from the Pirates to start the week. Tuesday’s win was a 5-4 affair the Marlins won in the 10th inning thanks to Miguel Rojas’ two run homer in the ninth to tie the game with 2 outs and Garret Cooper’s homer in the 10th to provide the lead. 

The Marlins then came home for three against the Royals and won just one of three. That one win came Sunday in a 9-0 victory powered by Sandy Alcantara’s complete game shutout. Alcantara went the distance while allowing 4 hits and two walks and struck out 8 for his second complete game shutout of the season. 

Upcoming games- Four at home against the Brewers, followed by three in San Francisco