Matt Veasey's NL East beat

Matt Veasey’s NL East Beat: Week of 6/10-6/16/19


The New York Mets season is not unfolding as planned in the Big Apple. (Arturo Pardavila III)

Over the first ten weeks of the 2019 Major League Baseball season the Philadelphia Phillies spent all but seven days sitting at the top of the standings.

However, numerous key injuries and inconsistent play have caught up to the team. The Atlanta Braves have gotten hot and passed the Phillies for first place in the standings.

Now the Washington Nationals appear to have regained some equilibrium after a horrendous start, and have begun fighting their way back up the standings.

The Phillies lost two of three games to both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Braves this past week. Now they will visit the Nationals for a big four-game set to open this current week down in our nation’s capital.

As always, my NL East Beat report reveals how each of those Phillies divisional rivals fared over the course of the past week: games scores, pivotal performers, key injuries, and other important updates on each team are included.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST DIVISION STANDINGS

ATLANTA BRAVES (6 – 1)

Summary: The Braves were below the .500 mark at 18-20 in early May. But Atlanta has come alive over the last six weeks, surging to the top of the division standings by winning 24 of 34 since.

This past week was more of the same. The Braves swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in a four-game series and then took two of three from the Phillies over the weekend, capping it all with a big 15-run outburst on Father’s Day.

Upcoming: Atlanta wraps a homestand by hosting the struggling New York Mets for three games. Following an off-day on Thursday they head out on the road for a 10-game road trip that begins over the weekend with three in Washington.

MIAMI MARLINS (2 – 4)

Summary: The Marlins continued to fall back in the standings by dropping two of three to both the Saint Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates.

After winning 13 of 18 in a nice stretch of play beginning in mid-May, the Fish have reverted to their 2019 losing form, with losses now in eight of their last 10 games.

Upcoming:  The Marlins are on the road this week, meeting the Cardinals for four games at Busch Stadium and then coming to Citizens Bank Park for a three-gamer over the coming weekend.

NEW YORK METS (2 – 4)

Summary: The Mets are a bit of a mess. They began the week by splitting a Tuesday ‘Subway Series’ split doubleheader with the Yankees, then lost three of four to the Saint Louis Cardinals at home in Citi Field.

Since a 9-4 start to the season and after holding first place in the NL East as late as April 24, the Mets have been stumbling for months. They are just 25-33 since that hot start, and have been crippled by injuries that continue to hit, with ace Noah Syndergaard now going down.

Upcoming: The Metropolitans open up an 11-game road trip, playing three games in Atlanta to start the week and then moving out to Wrigley Field to take on the Chicago Cubs in a four-gamer beginning on Thursday. They come to Citizens Bank Park for a four-game series to open next week at the close of that trip.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS (3 – 3)

Summary: It was a .500 week from the Nats, something they cannot afford too much of in trying to dig out of a horrendous start to their 2019 season.

The Nationals were just 19-31 on May 23, but have won 14 of 21 since to regain some equilibrium. Washington split a pair of series last week: two with the Chicago White Sox, and four with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Upcoming: Washington will host the Phillies in a key four-game series to open this week at home. After that, they welcome in the first-place Atlanta Braves for three over the weekend. If the Nats are going to make a move to get back into things, now is the time.

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