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Around the NL East: Mets losing skid drops them out of first

Jun 23, 2015, 11:00 AM EST

Jun 21, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) leaves the game against the Atlanta Braves during the seventh inning at Turner Field. The Braves defeated the Mets 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA BRAVES

Fresh off a sweep of the Mets, the Braves head to D.C. this week just two games back of the Nationals. They’ve managed to avoid long dry spells, but haven’t exactly gone on a sustained run of winning, either. So if they want to make a legitimate push, taking care of business on the road against an NL East rival would be a good start.

But it appears the Braves will have to do that without their best hitter, as Freddie Freeman is a likely candidate for the disabled list with a right wrist injury. The 25-year-old first baseman, who has fared well against the Nats over the years, did not travel to Washington after he underwent an MRI on Monday.

MIAMI MARLINS 

We’ve been talking about Giancarlo Stanton quite a bit in this space over the last few weeks, but the Marlins have another bright spot in their organization who is inching near a return. Phenom pitcher Jose Fernandez continued his minor league rehab assignment Monday at Single-A Jupiter, striking out nine and allowing just four hits over seven innings. It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 14 months since the 22-year-old righty dazzled for the Fish before undergoing Tommy John Surgery. His return to the big club won’t vault them into contention, but it’ll perhaps provide a renewed sense of optimism.

NEW YORK METS  

Thanks to a five game losing streak, the Mets have relinquished their first place lead in the division to the Nats. And as usual, the offense has been the issue; New York has scored just six runs during five-game skid. As good as the starting pitching has been for most of the season, it’s clear this lineup as currently constructed probably won’t be enough to get this club over the hump.

So what will GM Sandy Alderson do? There were rumors earlier in the month that he had conversations with the Brewers about potentially acquiring Aramis Ramirez. But is that the answer? The 36-year-old hasn’t had a 20-homer season since 2012, and wouldn’t exactly be the middle-of-the-order bat the Mets need. It’ll be interesting to see if Alderson changes course and decides to go all-in at the trade deadline rather than leaving the roster mostly untouched to see if the lineup can turn things around on its own.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES 

When you play in the City of Brotherly Love and have the worst record in baseball, it’s only natural that folks will start calling for someone to lose their job. That process is already in full swing in Philly, with fans and local media putting manager Ryne Sandberg and GM Ruben Amaro Jr. squarely in the crosshairs for the team’s disappointing season.

The Phillies’ tale is a cautionary one for teams that want to keep a group of expensive big name veterans together for several years. They did just that with players like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon and others, and have been stuck with a number of undesirable contracts that other teams don’t want to touch in a trade. As a result, you have an aging roster that may not get replenished with young prospects for a long while.

  1. laddieblahblah - Jun 23, 2015 at 11:17 AM

    “Freddie Freeman is a likely candidate for the disabled list with a right wrist injury.”

    The Nats are without their starting first baseman, as well as their starting left fielder – a couple of pretty good players, and Rendon has yet to regain form. No crocodile tears here, over Freddie.

    And, unless I missed it, the Nats still have not said who is starting tonight. The rotation has been a game of musical chairs with pitchers from the Nats MiL affiliates.

    The team has found a way to suck it up and win, regardless.

    • jd - Jun 23, 2015 at 11:47 AM

      Some of times we sucked it up and lost. Our record isn’t what it should be and injuries have a lot to do with it.

      • laddieblahblah - Jun 23, 2015 at 12:22 PM

        Look who is in first place, jd.

        “Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: You stay here; I’ll go on a head.”

      • jd - Jun 23, 2015 at 1:18 PM

        1st in a really crappy division. Don’t tell me that this is the record you had expected when the season started. I am not criticizing just pointing out that injuries have taken a bite out of the Nats season as well as some other teams seasons.

    • paulfortier - Jun 23, 2015 at 12:23 PM

      +5

    • bowdenball - Jun 23, 2015 at 12:41 PM

      Possible that maybe the Nats haven’t announced tonight’s starter because of the weather uncertainty? I doubt they want Strasburg pitching an abbreviated outing or having to sit for an hour and then throw again.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jun 23, 2015 at 1:07 PM

        Probably waiting because they have to make a roster move. No point to doing it early.

      • bowdenball - Jun 23, 2015 at 1:09 PM

        Good point. Thanks.

  2. micksback1 - Jun 23, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    Interesting series about to start, are the Braves still going to be the team the Nats have to watch out for instead of the Mets.

    Tonight is an opportunity for the Nats to keep rolling, for Stras to show up and to put some distance between us and the rest of the East

    • scnatsfan - Jun 23, 2015 at 2:03 PM

      Unless the Mets go out and get a bat

  3. stoatva - Jun 23, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    Cashing in some Red Carpet Rewards points for a club level seat tonight is looking like a pretty lucky call.

  4. Bruxtun - Jun 23, 2015 at 3:00 PM

    Freeman to DL, good news for our pitchers.

  5. natsfan1a - Jun 23, 2015 at 3:04 PM

    Congrats to the NL player of the week. Just finished watching the video of his no-no. (Was sightseeing during that game with my Chicago-now-Denver baseball buddy, who just left town this morning.)

    http://m.nationals.mlb.com/news/article/132253372/fresh-of-no-no-mex-scherzer-nl-player-of-the-week

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