Delpercio: National League East Recap

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The first week of September baseball was a great one. It brought forth plenty of debuts, heated divisional races and many other storylines throughout the week. Let’s check out everything that happened in the NL East from Monday, Sept. 5, to Sunday, Sept. 11. 

Welcome to the Show 

Due to all of the injuries in their outfield, the Philadelphia Phillies called up outfielder Dalton Guthrie to add some depth to their slim group. Guthrie made his MLB debut Tuesday against the Miami Marlins, batting eighth and playing right field. Guthrie ended up going 0-3, but the Phillies were victorious in his debut and beat the Marlins 3-2 thanks to a Jean Segura walk-off RBI single. 

The New York Mets called up infielder and designated hitter Mark Vientos on Sunday to try and add some pop to their lineup. Vientos ended his night going 0-5, but the Mets picked up a win in his debut, blowing out the Marlins 9-3. 

The Washington Nationals had catcher Israel Pineda make his debut in their series finale against the Phillies on Sunday. Pineda would end the day going 0-3 with a walk and a run scored. 

It’s (Not) Always Sunny In Philadelphia 

On Sunday, the Phillies and Nationals got to spend time bonding with their fellow teammates. They watched nearly the entire NFL play while both teams sat in their respective clubhouses, waiting out a rain delay that lasted over three hours.

The tarp went onto the field around 2:13 p.m. and the two teams waited until 5:35 p.m. to resume play. The game didn’t conclude until 8:14 p.m., six minutes before the Sunday Night Football game was scheduled to start. The Phillies ended up coming out of Sunday as the victors, beating the Nationals 7-5 and sweeping their three-game set against them. 

DC Disaster 

The Nationals’ ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday could sum up their entire season. The Nats entered the last frame of the game up 5-1 but struggled from there, recording just one out through eight batters.

The Cardinals slowly started to chip away at the score, making it 5-2, then 5-3, followed by 5-4, until Tommy Edman hit an RBI double into left field to drive in two and give the Cardinals a walk-off win. This made the Nationals the first team in the MLB to be eliminated from postseason contention. 

Down to the Wire 

With less than a month left to go in the MLB season, the NL East race is more intense than it ever was.

The Atlanta Braves finally clawed all the way back from a 10.5 game deficit on Tuesday and tied the Mets for first place, making it the first time since April 11 that the Mets weren’t in sole possession of first. But the Mets responded by sweeping their doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates to give them a half-game lead over Atlanta. 

However, on Friday after the Mets lost to the Marlins and the Braves beat the Seattle Mariners, the Braves found themselves in sole possession of first place. That was until the next day when the Mets regained a half-game lead over them and ended Sunday with a one-and-a-half-game lead over Atlanta.

With just about three weeks left in the season, this probably won’t be the last time these two teams find themselves alone for the top spot in the division. 

Injury Update

Mets right fielder Starling Marte left Tuesday’s game against the Pirates after his hand got hit by a pitch. They placed him on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Wednesday, with a partial non-displaced fracture of his right middle finger. 

On Wednesday, the Mets also placed starting pitcher Max Scherzer on the 15-day injured list with oblique irritation. 

On Friday, the Nationals placed catcher Keibert Ruiz on the 10-day injured list after getting hit in a spot that you don’t want to get hit in. 

On Saturday, the Marlins announced that they are shutting down second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. for the season due to a stress fracture in his back.

Marlins outfielder Avisail Garcia left early during Saturday’s game against the Mets with a hamstring issue. 

With one week of September baseball down, let’s see who started the month strong, and look at some guys who started cold along with the divisional and wild card standings. 

Who’s Hot

Michael Harris II (Atlanta Braves CF): .350 AVG, 1.200 OPS, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 15 K%

Eduardo Escobar (New York Mets 3B): .520 AVG, 1.476 OPS, 4 XBH, 5 RBI, 6 R

Edmundo Sosa (Philadelphia Phillies SS): .583 AVG, 2.032 OPS, 5 XBH, 5 RBI, 0 K

Garrett Cooper (Miami Marlins 1B/DH): .435 AVG, 1.219 OPS, 4 2B, 12 K% 

Alex Call (Washington Nationals LF): .400 AVG, 1.179 OPS, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R 

Who’s Not

Ronald Acuna Jr (Atlanta Braves RF/DH): .174 AVG, .426 OPS, 0 BB, 1 RBI, 10 LOB

Austin Riley (Atlanta Braves 3B): .158 AVG, 1 XBH, 2 RBI 

Bryce Harper (Philadelphia Phillies DH): .158 AVG, 40.9 K%, CS 

JJ Bleday (Miami Marlins CF): .167 AVG, .508 OPS, 0 RBI, 0 R, CS, E8 

Pablo Lopez (Miami Marlins SP): 1 GS, 3.2 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 3 BB, 2 K 

Standings (As of Sept. 12, 2022) 

1. New York Mets 89-52 

2. Atlanta Braves 87-53 (1.5 GB) 

3. Philadelphia Phillies 78-62 (10.5 GB) 

4. Miami Marlins 57-82 (E) 

5. Washington Nationals 49-92 (E) 

NL Wild Card Standings (As of Sept. 12, 2022)

WC1. Atlanta Braves 87-53 (+10.5 GB)

WC2. Philadelphia Phillies 78-62 (+1.5 GB)

WC3. San Diego Padres 77-64 (-)

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