So there is a lot of talk about the NL East and the weak play of its teams, especially the New York Mets...
To the outside fan looking in it may come as a surprise that a (Mets) payroll reaching just below the $150 million mark ($149,373,987) don't have some guys who are competent replacements if there starters went down to injury. Thanks to the injury bug the Mets have been dawdling through this season while Beltran, Delgado, and Reyes have all been lost for significant parts of this year. Not to mention their $6 million dollar bullpen upgrade in J.J. Putz has been far less than the what they hoped (1-4, 5.22, & on DL since June 6). And do I love the leaning on bad starters for quality starts nearly everytime out.
Now for a quick take on the Nationals, the team batting average is awesome .263, 4th best in the NL and the 2nd best OBP at .344. Too bad their league worst ERA 5.19 keeps them out of most ballgames from the start. I also heard the other day, their prized #1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg has not even been contacted by the club regarding a contract, Scott Boras needs to stick a cell phone up his ass.
The Atlanta Braves are somewhat of a jauggernaut. They went old with the bats this past offseason because they thought the pitching was there with Lowe, Vasquez, Jurrjens, Kawakami, & phenom Tommy Hanson as a mid-season call up. True to form the pitching is not Atlanta's issue, team ERA of 3.87 is 5th best in the NL. Problem is, Lowe has been inconsistent at best, and he was supposed to be their ace. Looks like the Braves are working towards 2010 already if you ask me, but you never know if another trade is in their works.
And now the Philadelphia Phillies. This team boggles my mind. So far 1 game under at home (22-23) and the Majors most wins on the road (27-15), after defeating the Florida Marlins down in Miami last night. Hitting, Hitting, Hittting, and not to much pitching has been their recipe for wins this year. Jamie Moyer has a 5.58 ERA, 9-6, but against the Florida Marlins 2.37, 2-1. He is the ultimate Marlins killer. I would rather face Johan, Greinke, Lincecum, Halladay, Haren, or Beckett than this guy if I had to win ONE game. For his career Jamie Moyer is 13-2, 2.83 in 15 career starts against the fish. Let's just hope Brad Lidge can't figure it out by season's end.
Finally, the Florida Marlins with probably the best team all around when everything is working. YEAH, I SAID IT. Nobody has a better starting rotation with Josh Johnson playing ACE. Nolasco, Miller, Volstad all have lights out stuff and each start gives them more seasoning. The bullpen is not an issue, as it hasn't been most of the year. Matt Lindstrom is a problem, but we look to the fact that he is still only in his 3rd Major League season, and first as the full-time closer. The major problems for the Marlins are Jeremy Hermida sucking 80% of the time and it seems we pay our guys to strike out. HANLEY RAMIREZ is more MVP than anyone but Pujols. I hope Uggla is gone soon, Hermida cut, Maybin brought up, and Gaby Sanchez given a chance.