What do the Florida Marlins, Washington Nationals, and New York Mets all have in common? They are at least 20 games back behind the division leading Philadelphia Phillies. But can’t say the same about the surging Atlanta Braves who are making a serious playoff push.
Here’s a breakdown of the National League East, starting from last to first.
The Florida Marlins have definitely had their ups and downs this season. They’ve been no stranger to drama with the firing of their coach and more recently with their Twitter-loving, young left fielder Logan Morrison. A little over a week ago, he was optioned to Triple-A and allegedly never got a definitive reason why. Rumors swirled that it was due to his outspoken tweets but Morrison himself felt it was more than likely his offensive struggles. Regardless, Morrison recently tweaked his groin in a minor league game last Wednesday and that’s not good.
The Marlins will hopefully get a much needed boost with the return of second-baseman Omar Infante, who had been on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured right middle finger. The Marlins were 2-13 after Infante’s injury and even though they have no shot of seeing the post season, his return is a welcomed sight.
To get more info and the latest news on the Florida Marlins, check out: A Fishy Situation
The New York Mets are another team who have had their struggles this season. Last weekend they were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks and this past weekend swept by the Milwaukee Brewers. Granted both of those teams are hot right now but its not like the Mets didn’t have their chances nor were exactly blown out. In fact in Saturday’s loss to the Brewers, the Mets had a 9-7 lead heading into the top of the ninth, where Mets pitchers Jason Isringhausen and Manny Acosta gave up four runs combined to blow the game and give the Brewers an 11-9 victory.
Shortstop Jose Reyes has been out with a strained left hamstring but there’s a possibility he will begin rehabbing by the end of this week. Reyes ran to first base before Sunday’s game and around the outfield, a little bit. He’s not at 100% but hopefully he keeps improving.
To get more info and the latest news on the New York Mets, check out: Curious Case of Sidd Finch
Oh those pesky Washington Nationals, for a below .500 team they sure know how to beat the Phillies. And this weekend they took full advantage of Philadelphia’s mistakes, taking two games from the Phillies and winning the series. The inclement weather didn’t help matters but that’s not an excuse. Because it obviously didn’t hurt the Nats.
After going 0-17 and not having a great season overall, shortstop Ian Desmond is on a tear, batting .286 with five runs, a homer, and six RBIs, since August 11th. Jayson Werth continues to make people scratch their heads, pondering if he is worth $126 million. I think he’s been hit or miss, literally. He does still have that tendency to step up in the important spots and as of late, appears to be producing more and having a much better second-half than first.
To get more info and the latest news on the Washington Nationals, check out: Win For Teddy
Now let’s discuss the Atlanta Braves who lead the NL wild card race by eight games but would love to knock the division leading Phillies out of the top spot. They closed the gap yesterday by beating the Diamondbacks and pulling within six and a half games. And boy have they been on a roll, having won 13 out of their last 19 games which includes this past weekend’s sweep of the D-backs. Since the All-Star break, the Braves have recorded with most home runs in the National League with a total of 44.
And second baseman Dan Uggla not only contributed 14 of those home runs, he also had a 33-game hitting streak going until it ended on August 14th. Injured starter Tommy Hanson who has been on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis, is tentatively scheduled to start a rehab assignment for Triple-A this upcoming Saturday. The Braves start a 4-game series against the Cubs on Monday then a 3-game series against the Mets. Both series could potentially put the Braves in very good shape heading down the stretch.
To get more info and the latest news on the Atlanta Braves, check out: She Is Out Of Your League
The Philadelphia Phillies still lead the NL East and all of the Majors with an 81-44 record. That being said, this past weekend’s late inning meltdowns were disheartening to say the least. I may sound biased but there haven’t been many issues in regards to the Phillies. Even with injured players and sometimes a lack of offense, they still find ways to win. And with the addition of right fielder Hunter Pence, the Phillies got even better. However, they also tend to take teams such as the Nationals too lightly. And it showed on Friday night and on Sunday. Both games the Phillies should have won but blew both.
It is what it is and honestly I’m not in panic mode…not yet anyway!
Getting closer to the post season, its gonna be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Heather Carnassale is the lead writer for Aerys Sports Philadelphia Phillies site: View From Section 116.