NL East Report
Atlanta Braves: (3-7; -8.5)
The Atlanta Braves had a dreadful series against the Cincinnati Reds, and carry their 5-game losing streak to Houston to play the Astros. Thursday’s pitching matchup features Derek Lowe vs. Roy Oswalt. The Braves are falling from the Wild Card race as they are now 7 games back of the Rockies.
Florida Marlins: (5-5; -6.5)
The Florida Marlins took two of three from the Washington Nationals, losing the third game of the set due to a Ryan Zimmerman walkoff. The Marlins will come to Citi Field looking to keep their Wild Card hopes alive. They are currently 5 behind the Rockies. Rookie Chris Coghlan was the NL’s Rookie of the Month, and it was well deserved. He led the majors in hits during August, and set the Marlins franchise record. He currently has a 14 game hit-streak and 9 of the 14 have been multi-hit games. This kid has a bright future ahead.
Philadelphia Phillies: (4-6; Leader)
The Philadelphia Phillies lost three to the Astros, and will finish their series today. From there, they will open a three game series with the Washington Nationals.
Washington Nationals: (2-8; -31.5)
The Washington Nationals snapped their 8-game losing streak with a walk-off win over the Florida Marlins. However, they did lose two of three and will now face the Phillies. The Nationals lead the Bryce Harper sweepstakes by 4.5 games over the Kansas City Royals. The Mets are 7 games out of the 3rd spot, and 1.5 games out of the 5th (Bryce Brentz?).
Weekly Stat: Defense wins championships. It’s true for every sport, but harder to appreciate for baseball. Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) is currently the premier stat for judging a player’s defensive skill. It looks at a few factors, like range, and throwing skill, and compares it to the league average. Important to note however, is that it is very hard to grade pitchers and catchers adequately using this measure, so we’ll take a look at the NL leaders at the other 7 positions (3 OF, 4 IF)
Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals has the highest UZR in the NL, with a score of 15.9 followed by Justin Upton and Colby Rasmus. But a more interesting stat is the teams that dominate the top-35. The Dodgers have 4 players (Kemp, Blake, Furcal, Loney) in the top 35, the Cardinals have 3 (Rasmus, Pujols, Ludwick) the Rockies have 2 (Barmes, Tulo), and the Giants have 2 (Rowand, Renteria). The Philadelphia Phillies own this list with 6 of their 7 field positions in the top-35, including all 4 infielders plus Ibanez and Werth. 17 of the top 35 players are from the 5 teams closest to the playoffs. Defense also wins divisions and Wild Cards.
The highest ranked Met is Jeff Francoeur with -4.5.
Till Next Time
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