Brotherly Love and A New York State of Mind

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Washington Nationals

With all of their injuries and a pitching staff that was in trouble before trading RP Jon Rauch, the Nationals find themselves at the bottom of the NL East once again and it is there they will be for years to come in my estimation. They also host the worst record in baseball. They need pitching and a quality player who can play over 100 games at 1B without getting hurt. Once that’s done, then we’ll talk. Does the National’s Enquirer have anything more to say about this assessment? Do you agree or disagree?

Atlanta Braves

Things were so bad in Atlanta that they gave up and traded 1B Mark Teixeira to the Angels before this year’s trading deadline. They did get 1B Casey Kotchman in return, but he’s just not the return on investment one would expect in a deal for someone of Teixeira’s quality. With that being said, the deal had to be done! They couldn’t just loose him completely at season’s end. Their pitching staff has been mired by injuries (Glavine, Hampton and Hudson) and despite the season Jair Jurrjens is having, looks to be too heavy from carrying the lame to remain on top of the division this year. Now I hear rumors of them even trading 2B Kelly Johnson. These other questions remain: How long can Chipper keep playing with all those leg injuries? Will this be Glavine’s last season due to his recent injuries? Will John Smoltz be back next year? What will happen with Mike Hampton? Maybe someone from Braves Baseball Blog can answer a few of these questions for us or at least give us some insight on some of them.

Florida Marlins

Personally, I amazed that they’re even still this close in the NL East! You have to credit it to the play of guys like SP Nolasco, SS Hanley Ramirez and the other Marlins who have stepped it up this season. Unfortunately, I don’t see them catching either the Phillies or the Mets. Let’s see if their spending trend improves with the upcoming new stadium. What can the men at Fish@Bat or FishStripes tell us about how bright the future looks for these fish?

New York Mets

With the recent injuries to SP John Maine and closer Billy Wagner, the Mets are in rough shape in my estimation. It is my opinion that they do not have the pitching to go far into the playoff if they make the playoffs. Also, outside of Beltran in CF, they are one big bat away from what I think they need in the line up despite second year 3B David Wright having yet another great year at the plate and on the base paths (although the latter is off last year’s pace). Back to their pitching staff, Pedro has not been impressive, but Pelfrey has improved, but yet another arm would be most beneficial for their future success. Maybe someone at The ‘Ropolitans or maybe Matt Cerrone from MetsBlog can provide us with more details that I might be missing.

Philadelphia Phillies

To me, this is a weaker division, but the Phillies are at the top of the heap. They still need another starter, even after acquiring Blanton, but with Lidge, Madson & Romero, their bullpen is looking better this year. Offensively, they are one of the best teams in baseball! Howard at 1B, Utley at 2B, Rollins at SS, Burrell in LF and Victorino in CF. It doesn’t get much better than that! It’s their offense along with their improved bullpen that makes me pick them to remain in first place in the NL East as they should be starting to pull away from the Mets in early September. For more on the Phillies chances, let’s hope that some of the Phillies experts from Philliesflow or Phillies Nation can grace our pages with some personal insight from the city of brotherly love. By the way, I was at their ballpark on Saturday for a birthday party of one of my wife’s uncles and I must say that Citizen’s Bank Park was done right, what a really nice place to watch a game. I loved the Liberty Bell in CF.

National League                  
Philadelphia 73 59 .553 -- 39-28 34-31 642 549 93
New York 73 60 .549 0.5 41-25 32-35 654 584 70
Florida 67 65 .508 6 35-31 32-34 613 643 -30
Atlanta 58 74 .439 15 35-31 23-43 600 621 -21
Washington 47 85 .356 26 24-39 23-46 488 657 -169

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