How unlucky is Shelby Miller? The 24-year-old All-Star pitcher has had a solid season, but doesn't have a whole lot to show for it. As crazy as it sounds, Miller is in search for his first win since May 17 vs. the Marlins. The old saying is that you are what your record says you are, but Miller's 5-11 mark is a bit deceiving considering he has a 2.50 ERA. It looked like he was going to get of the snide Wednesday night, being staked to a 3-0 lead vs. the Rockies, but squandered it in the seventh inning and was charged with another loss. A starting pitcher has not started 30 games with a 2.50 ERA or less and won fewer than 10 games since Cole Hamels in 2014. With that in mind, Miller is going to try to avoid being apart of history.
Given how bad the Marlins have been this season, you'd expect team officials to be realistic about where the club is in its rebuilding process. But apparently not, as manager Dan Jennings said recently the team is "one or two pieces away" from contending. Huh? Miami is on pace for 95 losses, and somehow is just one or two pieces away. Sure, Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez are blue-chip players that are legitimate cornerstones. But they haven't stayed healthy on a consistent basis, and the Marlins have been known to be frugal in the past when it comes to signing big-name free agents.
NEW YORK METS
Nats fans are asking themselves the same question every night: Will the Mets ever lose again? Given the way they're playing right now, it doesn't seem like it. Though they've gone against inferior competition (they're 13-0 against the Marlins, Phillies and Rockies this month), they've taken care of business to increase their NL East lead to 6 1/2 games. It's remarkable that New York's offense -- which had been one of the worst in baseball -- is all of a sudden a juggernaut. They can thank Yoenis Cespedes for that, who is everything GM Sandy Alderson could have hoped for and then some. Since Cespedes has been on board, he's hitting .311 with seven home runs and 21 RBI with a .941 OPS, and the club is 18-6 in the process.
The only hope the Nats have right now (aside from winning most of the six remaining head-to-head matchups) is if the Mets rotation has to be reworked in September to accommodate the young arms that are reaching innings limits. If that happens, perhaps there's a chance New York can slip into some sort of slump. But given how the offense is on fire, who even knows if that would matter at this point.
This past week marked the end of an era in Philadelphia as Chase Utley was traded to the Dodgers for Darnell Sweeney and pitcher John Richie. We knew this day would come eventually, but it was still a mild surprise that he was moved during the season considering that GM Ruben Amaro stated recently that it was more likely he'd be traded in the offseason. Regardless, this move represents another step towards the retooling of a roster that has desperately needed it for years.