Delpercio: National League East Weekly Recap

Graphic for NL East Column. - Graphics Editor / Julia Quennessen

Another week of NL East baseball means another week of storylines, debuts, milestones, injury updates and plenty of great performances in divisional games, so let’s take a closer look at everything the division had to offer us from Monday, April 11, to Sunday, April 17. 

Welcome to the Show 

The division saw two more players get called up to “The Show,” with Atlanta Braves pitcher, Bryce Elder, and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder, Simon Muzziotti, making their debuts early in the week.

Elder made his debut on the mound for the Braves on Tuesday and pitched 5.2 innings, gave up six hits and three runs, walked three guys and didn’t strike anyone out. However, he did pick up his first major league win as the Braves crushed the Nationals 16-4. 

Muzziotti made his debut as a defensive replacement in the Phillies series opener against the New York Mets, replacing Matt Vierling in center field. The following game, Muzziotti got his first major league and went on to strike out and laid down a sacrifice bunt in his two plate appearances, before getting pinch-hit for by Alec Bohm. 

Injury Update 

Without a doubt, injuries are one of the worst things to see in sports and unfortunately, the NL East saw a couple of great players go down this week, albeit nothing appeared to be too serious.

Mets starting pitcher, Taijuan Walker, left the Mets series opener on Monday against the Phillies after the second inning due to right shoulder irritation. Walker long-tossed on Friday, threw a bullpen on Sunday and is hoping to make a rehab start by Wednesday, April 20 in his quest to get back to the rotation. He’s hoping to pitch at least four innings in his rehab start and if everything goes well, Walker should be able to rejoin the Mets rotation five days later. 

Phillies second baseman Jean Segura got his hand hit by a pitch in the Phillies 9-6 loss to the Mets on Wednesday. Segura exited the game once he got to first base, and sat out the Phillies next three games. He returned to the lineup and went 0-4 Sunday in the Phillies 11-3 loss to the Miami Marlins, so it’ll be interesting to see if his hand affects his performance at all throughout the week. 

Juan Hundred Homers 

Juan Soto has already established himself as one of the best hitters in the game, but his at-bat in the top of the sixth inning on Tuesday solidified his place in history among some of the game’s greats. Soto crushed a solo home run that went over 450 feet, marking number 100 on the young superstar’s career. 

Soto joined the elite company, becoming the seventh active player to hit 100 home runs at the age of 23 or younger, with Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Ronald Acuña Jr., Albert Pujols, Giancarlo Stanton, and Miguel Cabrera being the others to do so.

The Nationals would go on to lose to the Atlanta Braves 16-4, but ended up winning the series, taking two out of three from the reigning champions thanks to Soto and his performance at the plate. 

Runners in Stranded Position 

For 29 MLB teams, RISP means Runners In Scoring Position. However, the Phillies this week seemed to believe that RISP stood for Runners in Stranded Position.

The Phillies went cold this week, going 2-5 and losing both series to the Mets and Marlins, two key teams that could hinder their playoff chances when September rolls around. 

A large part of this cold spell that the Phillies are on is due to their lack of execution with RISP. The Phillies went 8 for 43 with RISP in their losses this week, good for a .186 batting average. However, in their wins, the Phillies went 8 for 17 with RISP, good for a .471 batting average.

Baseball has become such an analytical sport, with launch angle and exit velocity becoming prominent in the game, but it really is as simple as “get ‘em on, get ‘em over, get ‘em in” and right now, the Phillies are swinging a wet pool noodle when people are on base. 

Stars Shine Bright in the Big Apple 

Thanks to a good week from Pete Alonso, Starling Marte, Francisco Lindor and many others, the Mets went 4-2 on the week and maintained control of first place in the NL East.

The Mets blew the first game of the week to the Phillies, losing 5-4 after taking a 4-0 lead into the eighth, but didn’t let any of those negative vibes overtake the clubhouse, as they went on to win their next three games. Alonso, Marte, Lindor and Brandon Nimmo all hit two home runs and helped the Mets offense average over five runs per game for the week.

Max Scherzer dominated in his only start of the week, going five innings, giving up five hits, one run, one walk and striking out seven in the Mets’ 9-6 win over the Phillies.

The Mets seem to be firing on all cylinders right now, getting great outings from their pitchers and productive at bats from their hitters, and remember, this team doesn’t have Jacob deGrom yet. 

With another week in the books, let’s take a look at some of this past week’s top performers, as well as some of the guys who struggled throughout the week, and the current day standings heading into Week Three of the 2022 MLB Season. 

Who’s Hot

Washington Nationals: Victor Arano (RP) – 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 0.46 WHIP

New York Mets: Starting Pitching Staff – 27.2 IP, 16 H, 9 BB, 34 K, 0.65 ERA, 0.90 WHIP

Miami Marlins: Jesus Sánchez (CF) – .391 AVG, 5 XBH, 7 RBI 

Washington Nationals: Juan Soto (RF) – .333 AVG, 29.4 BB%, .750 OBP, 1.250 OPS

Atlanta Braves: Marcell Ozuna (LF/DH) – .333 AVG, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 1.100 OPS 

Who’s Not: 

Philadelphia Phillies: Kyle Schwarber (LF/DH) – .115 AVG, 11 LOB, 44.4 K% 

Philadelphia Phillies: Starting Pitching Staff – 27.1 IP, 35 H, 15 BB, 26 K, 7.90 ERA, 1.83 WHIP

Atlanta Braves: Eddie Rosario (RF) – .000 AVG, .133 OPS, 3 Errors 

Washington Nationals: Keibert Ruiz (C) – .167 AVG, .375 OPS, 21 LOB, 1 Error 

Philadelphia Phillies: Bryson Stott (2B/3B) – .105 AVG, .263 OPS, 40 K% 

Standings (As of Monday, April 18):

1. New York Mets 7-3 

2. Atlanta Braves 5-6 (2.5 GB)

3. Miami Marlins 4-5 (2.5 GB)

4. Philadelphia Phillies 4-6 (3.0 GB)

5. Washington Nationals 4-7 (3.5 GB)

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