After a week that gave several teams the opportunity to prove themselves in the National League East, the only team that did so was the Miami Marlins.
They aren’t as bad as we thought they were.
As for everyone else, each fan base should be disappointed.
The Atlanta Braves missed a golden opportunity to pull away from both the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies. Instead, they actually lost ground to BOTH teams that were playing each other.
Philadelphia did leapfrog the Nationals in the standings, but they continue to leave wins on the table due to their bullpen. This is all while Washington went 4-4 on an eight-game homstand.
And if you’re the Mets, I need to say no more in regards to disappointment. Look out because the Marlins are now on your tail.
Last 10: 6-4
Upcoming Series: vs. Cincinnati (3), @ St. Louis (3)
It is hard to take a team seriously when they lose two out of three to the Baltimore Orioles in their home park.
Both were in demoralizing ways. First, Sean Newcomb went seven innings allowing only a single run, then two relievers gave up a combined six runs in the ninth. Despite a comeback in the ninth, they wouldn’t eventually fall in the 15th (!) inning.
And yes… we can attest, this sucks…
This is pretty much a beat writer’s nightmare ... pic.twitter.com/pj7MWTjP0I— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) June 23, 2018
Second was Julio Teheran allowing four to score before Atlanta even got an at-bat. There was a wistful rally for the rest of the game, but ultimately they came up two runs short.
Missing on a golden opportunity to emerge as the frontrunner in the NL East, the Braves dropped the ball. Once excited for a finalized rotation to be back together, there are still some gaps to fill. The team averaged 6.8 runs this week and managed only two wins.
And still no Robert Acuna Jr.
Last 10: 7-3
Upcoming Series: vs. New York Yankees (3), vs. Washington Nationals (4)
Winning series will get you in the postseason. Taking two-out-of-three over the St. Louis Cardinals and the Nationals gives them four straight series wins.
None of those series victories were bigger than taking two at Nats Park.
In those six games Odùbel Herrera had 12 hits, four home runs, nine RBIs for a .444 average. He is leading the charge for a team that scored 39 runs in only six games.
Their starters are giving them quality outings as well. With each starting pitcher this week having a 1.40 WHIP or lower, there has been no downtick from them. However, all of their losses are attributed to their bullpen, including three blown saves.
On June 18, they optioned their closer Héctor Neris to Triple A after giving up four runs in two-thirds of an inning. While he did have a 6.00 ERA, and a 9.45 ERA in June, he did get the job done in the final innings of games. On 13 save opportunities this year, he got 10 saves.
They hope Seranthony Domínguez (four saves) can turn around the bullpen as they make a push to the All-Star Game.
Last 10: 3-7
Upcoming Series: @ Tampa Bay Rays (2), @ Philadelphia Phillies (4)
All things considered it wasn’t the worst week for the Nationals. Despite losing a series to Philadelphia and dropping a Gio Gonzalez start to Baltimore, Washington gained a half game on the Braves.
But, you have to demand better on an eight-game homestand. These games may be the ones that could haunt the Nats come late-August and September.
Yet there are a lot of highlights this week.
Most importantly though Bryce Harper is out of his funk.
Bryce Harper fired up after 3rd straight double pic.twitter.com/rW39L3y5KD— Rudy Gersten (@DCBarno) June 25, 2018
…and the fire is back, which may be the most important headline this week.
New York Mets
Last 10: 3-7
Upcoming Series: vs. Pirates (3), @ Marlins (3)
Finishing up a 10 game road trip with a 3-7 record, all the Mets needed was a return home.
Wrong, New York followed that up by getting swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field.
And one of those losses, just one, featured seven Dodger home runs.
Also another of the few productive players for the Mets could be heading to the DL. Centerfielder Brandon Nimmo (.283, 12 HR) took a pitch off of his hand this past weekend.
Last 10: 5-5
Upcoming Series: vs. Diamondbacks (4), vs. Mets (3)
A 3-3 West Coast road trip is not too shabby for the Marlins who are playing .500 ball in the month of June (11-10).
It gave the opportunity for Kyle Barraclough to pick up two more saves, bringing his total up to seven this season. His stellar relief performances will likely garner him the honor as the Marlins’ lone representative in the All-Star Game next month.
He’s pitched 11.2 straight innings of hitless baseball. Barraclough has also not allowed a run since May 8 (19 appearances).
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