NL East Report

Atlanta Braves: (4-6; -8)

The Atlanta Braves took two of three from the Houston Astros, and will head to St. Louis to play the Cardinals. Nate McLouth has hit three HR’s since returning from the disabled list. Top prospect Jason Heyward won the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year award. I do these columns twice a week, so I end up reading a lot about Brave prospects, especially Jay-Hey. If I were a Brave fan, I’d be so excited, and if I could steal one prospect to put into the Mets system, it’d be him. He hits for a high average, he get on base a lot, his power is growing, he walks, he doesn’t strike out, he has great baseball instincts, smart base-runner, and he’s improved every time he’s been promoted.

Florida Marlins: (7-3; -5)

The Florida Marlins finished up a… well you know. They will return home to play the Nationals. Sunday’s giveaway is a Hanley Ramirez bobblehead. Yep…not much going on. Other than the Marlins are 5.5 back of the Rockies. That’s right, they’re closer to the division than they are to the Wild Card.

Philadelphia Phillies: (4-6; Leader)

The Phillies took two of three from the Nationals, and will face the Mets. Nelson Figueroa will face Cole Hamels in the opener, and we won’t see Cliff Lee this time around. The story with the Phillies this week has been Brad Lidge. Lidge has been pitching in lower pressure situations lately, due to his ballooning ERA (6.97). Ryan Madson and Brett Myers would be the recipient of saves while Lidge works his way back. He’ll have every chance to re-claim his job before the playoffs, but he needs to be good from here on out.

Washington Nationals: (2-8; -32)

Wow, what a debut for Ian Desmond, The Nationals lost two of three to the Phillies, but the one they took was a big story. Ian Desmond was drafted by the Expos in 2004, and spent 5 yrs in the minors before being called up. In his first game, against Phillie starter Joe Blanton, Desmond went 2 for 4, with 4 RBI. 3 of those RBI’s came off a huge HR that he hit off Blanton to centerfield that went far. The Nationals won the game in spite of the bullpen huge effort to grab defeat.  The Nats were leading 8-2 in the 8th, before the Phillies tried to comeback, making the score 8-7. Then Ron Villone got Ryan Howard to ground into a double-play. Jim Riggleman has asked current SS Christian Guzman to move to second, to fit Desmond in regularly.  The Nationals have stretched out a 7 game lead in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes. The Mets trail the 5th pick by 1.5 games.

Weekly Useless Stat:

The Washington Nationals have 36 bullpen losses and are just 4 away from the record held by te 2004 Colorado Rockies.

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Till Next Time