Another week of baseball down means another week of great games, debuts, storylines, and returns to former places for the National League East. So, without further ado, let’s see everything the division had to offer us from Monday, May 9, to Sunday, May 15.
Welcome to the Show
The division saw two relievers make their MLB debut this week, both coincidentally happening against the Seattle Mariners with reliever Francisco Morales appearing in the Philadelphia Phillies’ series opener against the Mariners, and reliever Colin Holderman appearing in the New York Mets series finale against the Mariners.
Morales, the Phillies’ No. 10 prospect, pitched two hitless innings and struck out three, including the first batter he faced, to help the Phillies complete their shutout win over the Mariners on Monday. Morales also picked up his first save at the major league level on Friday during the Phillies’ wild win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Holderman pitched one scoreless inning in relief, allowed two hits and picked up his first major league strikeout in the Mets’ 8-7 loss to the Mariners on Sunday.
Ball Went Boom
The Phillies bats came alive on the hot, sunny beaches of Los Angeles. During their four-game series against the Dodgers, the Phillies’ offense exploded to put up 33 runs, 45 hits, 20 extra-base hits, and eight home runs against some of the top pitchers in the game, like Walker Buehler and Julio Urias.
The Phillies needed every last bit of that offensive explosion to hold off late-game heroics from the Dodgers, winning the first three games by a score of 9-7, 12-10 and 8-3.
Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, and Jean Segura absolutely hit the cover off of the ball to secure the Phillies’ first series win in LA since April 2014.
They were one win away from sweeping the juggernaut of a team the Dodgers assembled, taking a 4-3 lead into the bottom half of the ninth, but lost the series finale after a late-game rally that was started by a two-out Cody Bellinger triple and ended with a Gavin Lux two-RBI double.
Dusty Returns to DC
On Friday, former Washington Nationals manager, Dusty Baker, made his return to Nationals Park for the first time since the end of the 2017 season when the Nationals relieved him of his duties as manager. Dusty won 95 and 97 games with the Nationals during his two seasons in Washington D.C., including back-to-back National League East titles. But he came up short in the postseason, losing in Game 5 of the NLDS both years.
Baker and the Astros made light work of the Nationals, however, winning the two out of the three games the teams had. Ironically, Baker picked up his 2,009th managerial win against his old squad, moving him past Leo Durocher for the tenth most managerial wins of all time.
Pablo’s Painting Like Picasso
Pablo Lopez has been one of the best pitchers in the MLB thus far throughout the season and continued his dominance on Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers. Lopez pitched seven innings, gave up three hits, allowed one run, set a career-high in strikeouts with 11, and even retired 15 straight at one point. Unfortunately for Lopez and the Miami Marlins, his efforts were in vain, as the Marlins went on to lose 2-1.
Lopez’s success has lasted the entire MLB season so far, as his 1.05 ERA leads the MLB and hitters are only batting .175 against the young righty, the third-best in the league. Pablo Lopez has become must-watch television every fifth day and the Marlins are in a great position to win because of his performance on the bump.
Can’t Win Em All
The Mets were playing great baseball, not losing a series all season, until the Seattle Mariners came into town. The Mets finally lost a series, dropping two out of three at home to Seattle.
The teams split the first two games of the series and the Mets had a chance to win a wild one in the series finale. Pete Alonso was in a situation that every baseball player thinks about: bottom of the ninth, down a run, bases loaded, two outs, full count. But he struck out on a check swing that ended the game and handed the Mets their first series loss of the season.
On Wednesday, the Mets announced that reliever Sean Reid-Foley had Tommy John surgery. He will miss the rest of the season.
Along with this, the Mets announced on Friday that catcher James McCann has been placed on the 10-Day injured list and will miss approximately six weeks due to a fracture in his left hamate. To make matters worse for New York, Tylor Megill went to the 15-Day IL with right bicep inflammation.
On Thursday, the Phillies and manager Joe Girardi announced that Bryce Harper has a slight tear in his right UCL. He got a PRP injection on Sunday and isn’t expected to throw for at least four weeks. In the meantime, he will continue to DH for the Phillies.
Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr got an MRI on Saturday due to groin soreness that he’s been dealing with. The MRI didn’t show anything that would force the Braves to shut Acuna down, and they are calling him day-to-day.
With another week down, we got some guys tearing the cover off of the baseball this week, and some guys struggling, so let’s take a look at who was hot and who was not this past week, along with the standings heading into the middle of May.
Bryce Harper (Philadelphia Phillies, DH) – .609 AVG, 1.261 SLG, 2.043 OPS, 9 XBH, 8 RBI, 3 SB
Brandon Nimmo (New York Mets, CF) – .435 AVG, 1.217 OPS, 15 K%
Jean Segura (Philadelphia Phillies, 2B) – .409 AVG, 1.409 OPS, 3 SB, 9 R, 12 game hitting streak
Rhys Hoskins (Philadelphia Phillies, 1B) – .375 AVG, .750 SLG, 4 HR, 10 RBI
Kenley Jansen (Atlanta Braves, RP) – 3.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 5 K
Jesus Sanchez (Miami Marlins, CF) – .091 AVG, .273 OPS, 33 K%, 0 XBH, 12 LOB
Kyle Gibson (Philadelphia Phillies, SP) – 3.2 IP, 8 H, 1 K, 14.73 ERA
Jose Alvarado (Philadelphia Phillies, RP) – 1.0 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 3 BB
Tylor Megill (New York Mets, SP) – 1.1 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 1 K, 6.75 WHIP
Austin Riley (Atlanta Braves, 3B) – .200 AVG, 5 BB%, 17 LOB, 2 E5
Standings (As of Monday, May 16)
1. New York Mets 23-13
2. Philadelphia Phillies 17-18 (5.5 GB)
3. Atlanta Braves 16-19 (6.5 GB)
4. Miami Marlins 15-19 (7.0 GB)
5. Washington Nationals 12-24 (11.0 GB)
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