[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”4.9.4″ _module_preset=”default”][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.9.4″ _module_preset=”default”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.9.4″ _module_preset=”default”][et_pb_post_title featured_image=”off” _builder_version=”4.9.4″ _module_preset=”default” title_font=”|600||on|||||” text_orientation=”center”][/et_pb_post_title][et_pb_image src=”@ET-DC@eyJkeW5hbWljIjp0cnVlLCJjb250ZW50IjoicG9zdF9mZWF0dXJlZF9pbWFnZSIsInNldHRpbmdzIjp7fX0=@” alt=”Brian Cashman Yankees” title_text=”Brian Cashman – Aaron Boone” align=”center” _builder_version=”4.9.4″ _dynamic_attributes=”src” _module_preset=”default” hover_enabled=”0″ sticky_enabled=”0″][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.9.4″ _module_preset=”default” text_text_color=”#FFFFFF” background_color=”rgba(11,23,61,0.48)” transform_scale_tablet=”” transform_scale_phone=”” transform_scale_last_edited=”on|desktop” transform_translate=”0px|-69px” transform_translate_tablet=”0px|-98px” transform_translate_phone=”” transform_translate_last_edited=”on|phone” transform_translate_linked=”off” transform_rotate_tablet=”” transform_rotate_phone=”” transform_rotate_last_edited=”on|desktop” transform_skew_tablet=”” transform_skew_phone=”” transform_skew_last_edited=”on|desktop” transform_origin_tablet=”” transform_origin_phone=”” transform_origin_last_edited=”on|desktop” transform_styles_last_edited=”on|phone” text_font_size_tablet=”” text_font_size_phone=”10px” text_font_size_last_edited=”on|phone” transform_styles_tablet=”” transform_styles_phone=””]
Credit: AP Photo/John Bazemore
[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.27.4″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]The National League East is tightening, largely because the first-place Mets have been struggling against division opponents and that the division has been mediocre in general.
Let’s look at the past week and the upcoming holiday weekend in the MLB NL East.
NEW YORK METS
The Mets maintained their lead at the top of the division, but it’s down to two games ahead of Kyle Schwarber (AKA the Nationals) and 3.5 games over the Braves. Their offense is meager and they lost another starting pitcher in Wednesday’s humiliating 20-2 loss in Atlanta when David Peterson experienced pain on his right side. He is expected to miss a minimum of one start.
The main storyline was Thursday’s 4-3 loss to the Braves and the decision-making of third baseman Luis Guillorme.
Guillorme has been savaged in some circles, defended in others for Thursday’s game-ending play. Briefly, in a game tied at three, the Braves loaded the bases with two outs against Seth Lugo. Freddie Freeman hit a rocket up the middle that caromed off Lugo and toward – not at, toward – Guillorme at third base. Guillorme ran in, fielded the ball, and in one motion tried to throw out Freeman at first, Freeman beat the throw and the Braves won.
Behind Guillorme, Ronald Acuña Jr. was jogging to third. Fans and media members immediately debated or angrily asserted that Guillorme should have tried to catch Acuña for the force out. It’s a shaky argument at best given the moving parts. For him to think about the ten different scenarios in that millisecond and come to the right decision would have been a combination of miraculous and lucky. If Guillorme had the presence of mind to even consider trying to force Ronald Acuña at third base and managed to pull it off, his natural baseball instincts and execution would have been Derek Jeter-like.
In the moment, manager Luis Rojas was yelling for Guillorme to try for the force at third. In the aftermath and out of the heat of competition, he gave a more reasonable answer.
"I was one of the few that was yelling from the dugout about having a chance at third base" Luis Rojas discusses Luis Guillorme's read of the situation on the final play of the game pic.twitter.com/3aq2BGf8Zm — SNY (@SNYtv) July 2, 2021
The Mets head back to New York for three games – and a shot at the short right-field porch – at Yankee Stadium against their reeling crosstown rivals.
Before their rain-shortened 6-2 loss to the Dodgers on Thursday in DC, the Nationals had won four straight, the last two against the Rays. Schwarber is still scorching with three more home runs this week. While Schwarber has drawn deserved attention, the key to the Nationals’ resurgence apart from better pitching has been Trea Turner. He hit for the cycle on Wednesday and his all-around game with power (14 homers), speed (18 of 21 in stolen bases and excellent baserunning) and defense puts him in the conversation for Most Valuable Player.
BRING. US. YOUR. CYCLE. EMOJIS. 🚴♂️ No pleayer in @MLB history has more career cycles than Trea Turner.@treavturner // #NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/Y033Pky3Wc — Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 30, 2021
The Nationals have three more games against the Dodgers this weekend and all eyes will be on that series because of the ongoing Trevor Bauer controversy. Without extensive commentary on the subject, it will be simultaneously stunning and eminently believable to see him on the mound Sunday.
The Braves’ positives and negatives were presented in microcosm in their three-game series against the Mets. They blew two of the three games late. In the opener, Charlie Morton was cruising with a 3-0 lead before the Mets scored three against him in the seventh on James McCann’s three-run home run. A.J. Minter surrendered the fourth run in the Mets 4-3 win.
The second game was not just a blowout, but a 20-2 annihilation, as mentioned above. The Braves’ offense is capable of this type of offensive explosion, but it has been maddeningly inconsistent.
In the third game, they made Jacob deGrom look human before he found his rhythm and stymied them. It was like the first ga