Oct 1, 2015, 12:14 PM EDT
The good news for the Braves is that they managed to avoid a 100-loss season. The bad news? 2015 has been their worst campaign since 1990. As Atlanta heads into the offseason, there is plenty of work ahead for John Hart and John Coppolella. The front office has been creative in acquiring young pitching, but this rotation is more than one arm away from being playoff-ready. In addition, the lineup is in dire need of some help: Atlanta’s offense is ranked dead last in runs (561) and slugging percentage (.358).
The Marlins announced earlier this week that Giancarlo Stanton, who suffered a fractured left wrist hamate June 28, is indeed shut down for the rest of the season. The original timeline called for the slugger’s return about 4-6 weeks after the injury, but he had several setbacks on his road back from surgery. When he’s healthy, Stanton is as good as any player in the game, evidenced by the 13-year, $325 million contract the Marlins gave him last winter. But despite his talent, he’s only played more than 123 games just once since 2011.
NEW YORK METS
Who would have thought back in April that this division race would be over with more than a week left in the season, and that it would be the Mets who raised the NL East flag? Not many, which is why the Amazin’s deserve full credit for their remarkable run to the postseason. Everyone knew heading into the season the young rotation led by Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard had a chance to be dynamic eventually, but that group quickly evolved into one of the more dominant staffs in the league.
And while the development of the young arms certainly helped, this division championship wouldn’t have happened had GM Sandy Alderson decided not to be ultra-aggressive at the trade deadline (which, of course, coincided with the Nationals second-half collapse). The moves to acquire Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson, Tyler Clippard and Yoenis Cespedes turned the tide and immediately transformed this club into a dangerous contender.
So what are the Mets’ playoff prospects as they head into their NLDS matchup vs. the Dodgers? Who knows, but they seemingly have a lot of what they need for a deep October run.
Sunday’s 12-5 victory over the Nats had to feel especially good for the Phillies. To break the game open in the ninth inning vs. Jonathan Papelbon, their former closer who weeks earlier publicly criticized his old teammates, was good old fashioned payback. For it to come on the same day that the 34-year-old reliever attacked Bryce Harper in the dugout likely made the Phils glad they moved on from him when they did.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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