A hectic week of baseball in the NL East concluded on Sunday but not before it gave us plenty of sweeps, debuts, chaotic games, and roster shake-ups. So let’s take a look at everything the NL East had to offer from Monday, May 30 to Sunday, June 5.
Welcome to the Show
The division saw another debut this week with Washington Nationals starter Evan Lee making his big league debut against the rival New York Mets on Wednesday. Lee’s call-up is more unique, as he and some of the members of the Nationals’ Double-A affiliate team were at Buffalo Wild Wings watching the Nationals game when his manager asked him if he could pitch at Citi Field in a couple of days.
Lee, who posted a 3.60 ERA in seven starts with Harrisburg Senators and skipped Triple-A altogether, went 3.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks, and struck out two in the Nationals’ 5-0 loss to the Mets.
Bring Out the Brooms
The Mets got this week started with a three-game sweep over the Nationals. Washington struggled to put the Mets into a deficit throughout the series, as they only held a lead for one of the 27 innings played and the Mets’ offense exploded for 41 hits across the three games.
After shaking up some of the managerial staff, the Philadelphia Phillies came alive during their weekend series against the Los Angeles Angels. After winning the first two games of the series in convincing fashion, the sweep was in doubt on Sunday until Bryce Harper hit a game-tying grand slam in the bottom of the eighth. Then, down a run in the bottom of the ninth, rookie shortstop Bryson Stott launched a walk-off three-run homer to secure the series sweep.
Unlike the Mets and Phillies series, the Atlanta Braves’ three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies came down to the final inning all three times, with the first two games needing extra innings to decide a winner.
Coors Field is notoriously known for being a hitter-friendly ballpark, but after getting great pitching performances from Max Fried, Spencer Strider and the rest of the bullpen, the Braves managed to hold the Rockies to six hits in the first two games, and then the bats carried them in the final game of the series, scoring eight runs on 11 hits.
Runs, Runs Everywhere
The Miami Dolphins doubleheader against the Denver Broncos was wild– oh wait, football season doesn’t start until September.
On Wednesday, the Miami Marlins and Rockies gave us one of the craziest doubleheaders in recent history, combining for 53 hits and 30 total runs in just two games. After holding the Rockies to just three hits in a 14-1 Game 1 win, the Marlins failed to carry the momentum into Game 2, giving up three home runs to Brenden Rodger alone and losing 13-12 in extra innings.
Pennant Race Preview?
The Mets weekend series out in LA against the Dodgers may have just given us a preview of what’s to come once October rolls around. The Mets knew that people in the world of baseball would use this series as a measuring stick to see how legitimate they are, and after dropping the first two games of the series, overreactions were flying from left and right. However, the Mets responded well, taking the last two games of the series in come-from-behind fashion and stealing the best record in the National League from the Dodgers.
Pete Alonso continued his dominance at Dodger Stadium as well, hitting three home runs in the series and giving him seven total long balls in 12 career games at Dodger Stadium.
Shocking news came out of Philadelphia on Friday as the Phillies announced the firing of Manager Joe Girardi and Coaching Assistant Bobby Meacham. Girardi was brought to Philly after the end of the 2019 season to end what was once an eight-year playoff drought but failed to make the postseason in his two full seasons with the team, extending the no-postseason streak to a decade.
Girardi was in the final year of his deal and with the Phillies, going past the luxury tax for the first time in franchise history only to see a 22-29 record and be 12 games behind first-place Mets.
On Friday, Phillies president Dave Dombrowski figured the team needed a new voice to turn the season around.
In place of Girardi, the Phillies promoted bench coach Rob Thomson to the managerial position. Thomson is only set to be the Phillies manager for the remainder of the 2022 season, as the team will pursue a different skipper for the 2023 season in the offseason.
During the Phillies’ 7-4 loss to the Giants on Tuesday, second baseman Jean Segura fractured his right index finger after being hit by a pitch. He has been placed on the 10-day IL and is expected to miss 10-12 weeks. The Phillies also lost infielder Nick Maton on Saturday due to a right shoulder sprain. He was placed on the 10-day IL.
On Tuesday, Nationals shortstop Alcides Escobar hurt his hamstring making a great defensive play. The Nationals placed Escobar on the 10-day IL on Wednesday.
With June upon us, let’s take a look at some guys who started this month off hot, along with guys who struggled a bit, and the standings after the first week of June.
Kyle Schwarber (Philadelphia Phillies LF) – .909 SLG, 1.500 OPS, 4 HR, 21.4 BB%
Garrett Cooper (Miami Marlins 1B/DH) – .480 AVG, 1.240 OPS, 4 XBH, 7 RBI
Austin Riley (Atlanta Braves 3B) – .355 AVG, 1.226 OPS, 6 XBH, 8 RBI
Ronald Acuna Jr (Atlanta Braves RF/DH) – .385 AVG, .538 OBP, 7 R, SB
Lane Thomas (Washington Nationals LF) – .412 AVG, 1.000 SLG, 3 HR, 5 RBI
Nick Castellanos (Philadelphia Phillies RF) – .130 AVG, .304 SLG, 7.7 BB%, 9 LOB
Louis Head (Miami Marlins RP) – 2.0 IP, 8 H, 9 ER, 2 BB
Cesar Hernandez (Washington Nationals 2B) – .161 AVG, .194 SLG, CS
Victor Robles (Washington Nationals CF) – .071 AVG, .286 OPS, 0 RBI, 40 K%
Brandon Nimmo (New York Mets CF) – 0 XBH, 1 BB, 0 RBI, .350 OPS, 13 LOB
Standings (As of June 6, 2022):
1. New York Mets 37-19
2. Atlanta Braves 28-27 (8.5 GB)
3. Philadelphia Phillies 25-29 (11.0 GB)
4. Miami Marlins 22-30 (13.0 GB)
5. Washington Nationals 21-35 (16.0 GB)
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