The NLeast You Should Know Vol. 12

There is a new leader on top of the National League East after a week-long game of leap frog between the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves. As for the rest of the division, despite a lot of mid-week movement, when the music stopped, all teams were in the same spot as they had been the week prior.

Here is how the division looked one week ago…

Atlanta (36-32)
Washington  (35-33 1 GB)
Miami  (35-33  1 GB)
New York  (31-38  5.5 GB)
Philadelphia (29-38  6.5 GB)

Here is how the division looks as of Monday June 23rd…

Washington (39-35)
Atlanta  (38-37 1.5 GB)
Miami  (37-38  2.5 GB)
New York  (35-41  5 GB)
Philadelphia  (34-40  5 GB)

The Nationals have overtaken the Braves for the lead in the division despite splitting a four-game series this past weekend. The Nats used a two-game sweep of the Astros to propel themselves into first place. Tanner Roark picked up two wins this past week, throwing 10.1 innings and allowing just two runs. He is now 7-4 on the season. Closer Rafael Soriano saved all four of the victories. In all, he threw five shutout innings, allowing just a hit and a walk, while striking out six. Denard Span batted an even .400 on the week while Jayson Werth hit an ice-cold .087. Bryce Harper is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment this week with A-Potomac. He would be on schedule to return to the big league club on July 2nd after missing the majority of the season following thumb surgery. The Nationals are off on Monday before travelling for three each with the Brewers and the Cubs.

The Braves slipped into second place following a 2-5 week. The club was swept in three games by the Phillies before splitting the series with the Nationals. Evan Gattis saw his 20-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-3 on Sunday. Gattis hit .269 for the week and is batting .375 for the month of June. Freddie Freeman paced the club with a .394 average for the week. Infielder Tommy LaStella managed just three hits in 30 at-bats for an even .100 average. Gavin Floyd was the lone starter to pick up a win this week, doing so with a victory over the Nats on Thursday. He was removed from the game and placed on the disabled list on Friday with a fractured elbow. Aaron Harang got off to a 3-1 start with a 0.70 ERA but is now 5-6 following a loss to the Phillies. His ERA sits at 3.83 after allowing eight earned runs in five innings. The Braves are in Houston for three with the Astros and head to Philadelphia for four with the Phillies including a double-header on Saturday.

The Miami Marlins also went 2-5 on the week managing just one win each in three games with the Cubs and four games with the Mets. Adeiny Hechavarria missed the last two games with an elbow injury and is considered day-to-day. He did manage a .381 average in five games. Giancarlo Stanton batted .308 on the week and hit two home runs, both against the Cubs. Garret Jones had just one hit, a home run, for the week to the tune of a .045 average. Henderson Alvarez improved to 4-3 on the season after picking up a win against New York. He threw 6.1 innings of shut out ball and racked up five strikeouts. The Marlins play four in Philadelphia before returning home for three with the Oakland A’s.

Despite passing the Mets early in the week, the Philadelphia Phillies ended the week where they began, in last place of the division, even if only by percentage points. The Phillies enjoyed a 5-2 week that saw a sweep of the Braves before splitting a four-game set with the Cardinals. Ryan Howard was hot, hitting .345 with three bombs. Jimmy Rollins was not, hitting just .192 on the week. He has struggled mightily since passing Mike Schmidt for the franchise record for hits. A.J. Burnett tossed a complete game in a 5-1 win in St. Louis. He scattered seven hits and allowed just the one run. The Phillies are home for four with the Marlins and four more with the Braves. The Braves series includes a double-header on Saturday.

After dropping the first two games in St Louis, the Mets have won four of five, including taking three of four in Miami which had been a house of horrors as of late. Even losing three games, the team ERA was 2.48 on the week with Zach Wheeler picking up his first career complete-game shutout and Jacob deGrom his first career victory. The offense still had its moments of ineptitude but erupted for 11 runs in Sunday’s finale. After an off-day on Monday, the Mets welcome in old friend Scott Kazmir and the Oakland A’s for two games before heading to Pittsburgh for four with Ike Davis and the Pirates. With just five weeks until the Trade Deadline, the next few series will go along way in determining how many of the current players join the ranks of “former Mets.”

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