Delpercio: National League East Recap

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

What’s better than late September baseball? We got playoff berths, walk-off wins and records being broken all throughout the division, so let’s look at everything that happened in the NL East from Monday, Sept. 19, to Sunday, Sept. 25. 

Party Like It’s 2016 

Pop the champagne, the New York Mets are heading to the playoffs after Monday’s 7-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Monday’s win marked a special moment in New York Mets’ franchise history, as it was their first playoff berth since the 2016 season.

It’s still up in the air as to what seed the Mets will finish with. If they win the division, they could be the no. two seed in the National League and get a first-round bye. If they fall to second place in the division, they could finish as the no. four seed and have to play the team in the second Wild Card spot. 

The Champs are Back 

The champ is here. For the fifth straight season, the Atlanta Braves have punched their ticket to the postseason. The Braves clinched a spot in the dance after a 3-2 win against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, one day after the Mets clinched their spot to the dance. After winning the World Series last year, the Braves are looking to play deep in October once again, and have a real shot if they can catch the Mets for the division crown. 

Matty Ice 

Do you remember the 21st night of September? Matt Vierling and the Philadelphia Phillies sure do, as they walked off the Blue Jays to put an end to their five-game losing streak. 

After falling behind in the eighth after a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. three-run home run, the Phillies would rally to tie things up at three in the same inning. Philly was able to stop the Toronto Blue Jays offense in the ninth, but couldn’t scratch a run across themselves, going into extra innings.

The Jays looked like they were about to score, but Andrew Bellati got a key double play to prevent the Jays’ offense from putting any runs. The Phillies loaded the bases in the bottom half of the tenth, and unlike the Jays, were able to capitalize on it as Vierling sent a ball back up the middle to drive in the winning run. 

The Price is Wright 

Braves starter, Kyle Wright, rewrote the Atlanta Braves’ history books on Saturday after their game against the Philadelphia Phillies. After exiting the game with a 6-0 lead and one out in the sixth, Kyle Wright was in line for his league-leading 20th win of the season. The Braves just needed to hold on, and that they did. The Braves beat the Phillies 6-3, and Wright became the first pitcher this season to win 20 games, and the first Braves pitcher to do so since Russ Ortiz did it back in 2003. 

New York’s New RBI King 

Pete Alonso made Mets’ history on Sunday after his 4-5 day at the dish, which included five RBIs. His five RBIs gave him 128 on the season, breaking the Mets single-season RBI record which was previously 124 and held by catcher Mike Piazza and Mets’ franchise legend David Wright. Based on how his career has gone so far, it was fitting that Alonso broke the record on a long ball, this time it being a two-run blast to extend the Mets’ lead to seven and give Alonso his 124th and 125th RBI. 

Injury Update

Nationals starting pitcher, Patrick Corbin, left Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning due to an undisclosed injury. 

On Friday, the Miami Marlins announced a pair of roster moves, both retroactive to Monday. Starting pitcher Trevor Rogers is going on the 15-day injured list with a left lat strain, and infielder Joey Wendle is going on the ten-day injured list with left hamstring tendonitis. 

On Saturday, the Braves announced that starting pitcher Spencer Strider was placed on the 15-day injured list with a strained left oblique muscle.

On Sunday, the Phillies announced that reliever Brad Hand was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to Thursday, with left elbow tendonitis. 

With just roughly one week left in the season, let’s look at some guys who are finishing strong and some guys who the team desperately needs to get going, as well as the divisional and wild card standings entering the final push. 

Who’s Hot

Francisco Lindor (New York Mets SS): .440 AVG,, 4 XBH, 9 RBI, 3.7 K%, 1.164 OPS

Pete Alonso (New York Mets 1B): .333 AVG, 6 XBH, 13 RBI, 9 R, 1.324 OPS 

Rhys Hoskins (Philadelphia Phillies 1B): .308 AVG, 6 2B, 5 RBI, 1.011 OPS 

JT Realmuto (Philadelphia Phillies C): .417 AVG, 5 R, 3 XBH, SB, 1.125 OPS

Joey Meneses (Washington Nationals 1B/RF): .440 AVG, 5 XBH, 6 RBI, 11.1 K%, 1.361 OPS 

Who’s Not

Vaughn Grissom (Atlanta Braves 2B): .227 AVG, 1 RBI, 11 LOB, CS, 2 E4, .547 OPS

Bryson Stott (Philadelphia Phillies SS): .045 AVG, 0 XBH, 2 RBI, 16 LOB, 3 E6, .161 OPS

Luke Voit (Washington Nationals 1B/DH): .080 AVG, 0 XBH, 0 RBI, 57.7 K%, .195 OPS

Luis Garcia (Washington Nationals 2B/SS): .115 AVG, 3.7 BB%, 37.0 K%, .302 OPS

Kyle Gibson (Philadelphia Phillies SP): 2 GS, 10.0 IP, 3 BB, 12 K, 10.80 ERA, 2.20 WHIP 

Standings (As of Sept. 26, 2022) 

1. New York Mets 97-57 

2. Atlanta Braves 95-58 (1.5 GB) 

3. Philadelphia Phillies 83-69 (E) 

4. Miami Marlins 63-90 (E) 

5. Washington Nationals 53-99 (E)

NL Wild Card Standings (As of Sept. 26, 2022)

1. Atlanta Braves 95-58 (+11.5 GB) 

2. San Diego Padres 85-68 (+1.5 GB)

3. Philadelphia Phillies 83-69 (-)

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