It’s that time of the week again, time to recap all the crazy things the NL East had to offer us from Monday, June 6, to Sunday, June 12. So without further ado, let’s take a look!
Welcome to the Show
During the Miami Marlins’ 9-4 loss to the Houston Astros on Sunday, reliever Aneurys Zabala made his debut for the Florida team. Like many NL East prospects of late, Zabala got called up straight from Double-A, skipping Triple-A altogether. Zabala made the final two outs of the game for the Marlins, allowing one hit, and striking out Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker to pick up his first major league strikeout.
Eduardo Escobar etched himself into the history books on Monday in the New York Mets’ series opener against the San Diego Padres. Entering the top of the ninth, Escobar was just a triple shy of doing something that a Met hadn’t done in ten years – hit for the cycle.
After falling behind in the count 1-2, Escobar laced a sinker down the right-field line for his fourth hit and sixth RBI of the game, and more importantly, the first cycle by a Mets player since April 27, 2012, when Scott Hairston did it. The Mets went on to win the game 11-5.
Drenched in Hader-ade
Nobody had gotten to Milwaukee Brewers closer, Josh Hader, in nearly a year. Entering Tuesday, Hader hadn’t allowed a run since July 28, 2021, had a streak of 40-consecutive scoreless appearances, and was one short of setting an MLB record. But the “Phillies DayCare” had other plans.
Down 2-1 in the ninth, the Philadelphia Phillies started the inning with a bang– literally. Alec Bohm did the impossible and crushed a fastball from Hader over the left-center field fence to tie and give Hader his first blown save since July 7, 2021. Two batters later, Matt Vierling, who started the day with the Phillies Triple-A team, took a hanging slider and turned it into a souvenir for one lucky fan in left field, giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead and silencing the crowd at American Family Field.
The late-inning heroics from the Phillies’ young bucks proved to be enough, as Corey Knebel closed the game out and secured a wild come-from-behind win for the Phillies.
Thursday was a special day for the Washington Nationals and their fans as 2019 World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg took the mound for Washington in their series finale against the Marlins. Strasburg hadn’t made a start since June 1, 2021, after he recieved thoracic outlet surgery and had a long rehabilitation process that included many different trainers and physical therapists to help him re-work his mechanics and learn how to trust his body once again.
Strasburg threw 83 pitches, good for 4.2 innings and struck out five in his return game, including striking out the side in the second inning, but ended up on the losing side of the stat sheet as the Nationals fell to the Marlins 7-4.
Bring out the Brooms
The Marlins started this week off hot, sweeping the Nationals in a three-game series. The Marlins bats teed off against the Nationals pitching staff for the first and last games of the series, combining for 19 runs in the two games. The second game of the series was more of a nailbiter, however, as both teams were scoreless heading into extra innings.
The Nationals got on the board first thanks to a Keibert Ruiz RBI single in the top half of the tenth, but Marlins infielder, Willians Astudillo, took matters into his own hands and made the game-tying hit to secure a walk-off Marlins win.
Someone needs to remind the Phillies and Atlanta Braves that summer hasn’t officially started yet– because these two teams were HOT this week.
The Phillies had been seven games under .500 after their win against the San Francisco Giants on the first of June, but little did we all know that win would spark a nine-game win streak, their first since 2011, to help bring them back into playoff contention.
The streak came to a close on Sunday after their loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, but interim manager Rob Thomson made MLB history during this stretch, as he became the third manager since 1900 to win each of his first eight games.
As for the Braves, they may never lose again. Manager Brian Snitker called for a team meeting on June 1 in an attempt to turn the season around as the team was 10.5 games behind the first-place Mets. The meeting seemed to have worked, as the Braves ripped off 11 straight wins, their first since 2013, and are getting contributions from everyone, reminding us of why they are the reigning World Series champions.
On Monday, the Nationals announced that reliever Victor Arano has been placed on the 15-day injured list with left knee inflammation.
On Tuesday, The Phillies announced that they placed infielder Johan Camargo on the 10-day injured list with a right knee sprain.
Marlins starter, Pablo Lopez, left Friday’s game against the Houston Astros in the fifth inning after being hit by a comebacker in the wrist. He is still on schedule to make his next start.
With the first week of June all set and done, let’s take a look at this week’s top performers, some guys who struggled, and the standings heading into the middle of June.
The Atlanta Braves – 6-0 W-L, .273 AVG, 2.33 ERA, 6.33 R/G
Nelson Cruz (Washington Nationals DH) – .421 AVG, 1.368 OPS, 4 XBH, 7 RBI
Sandy Alcantara (Miami Marlins SP) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
Kyle Schwarber (Philadelphia Phillies LF) – .292 AVG, .417 OBP, 4 XBH, 7 RBI, SB
Eduardo Escobar (New York Mets 3B) – .360 AVG, 1.040 OPS, 5 XBH, 6 RBI, 1 Cycle
JT Realmuto (Philadelphia Phillies C) – .211 AVG, .579 OPS, 2 E2, 15 LOB
Miguel Rojas (Miami Marlins SS) – .158 AVG, 0 XBH, E6
Chris Bassitt (New York Mets SP) – 3.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB
Francisco Lindor (New York Mets SS) – .120 AVG, 7.4 BB%, 0 XBH, 0 RBI, 14 LOB, E6
Maikel Franco (Washington Nationals 3B) – .167 AVG, 0 BB, 13 LOB, 2 E5
Standings (As of June 13, 2022)
1. New York Mets 40-22
2. Atlanta Braves 34-27 (5.5 GB)
3. Philadelphia Phillies 30-30 (9.0 GB)
4. Miami Marlins 27-31 (11.0 GB)
5. Washington Nationals 23-39 (17.0 GB)
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