Tag Archives: Jacob deGrom

Phillies begin to pull away from their NL East rivals in early May

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Anthony Rendon and the Nationals have been hurting in 2019

The Philadelphia Phillies (23-16) offense completely disappeared twice over last week’s action. But the club won their other four games, moving out to a four-game lead in the loss column in the National League East Division standings.

The Phillies were shutout 6-0 at Saint Louis in their first game of the week but came back to win the final two games to outscore the host Cardinals by 16-1 over the final two games to take that series.
Moving on to an Interleague match-up at Kansas City, the host Royals shut the Phillies down in a 5-1 win in the opener. But again the Phillies roared back, outscoring the Royals by 13-1 to take the final two games.
As always, my NL East Beat report reveals how each of those Phillies divisional rivals fared over the course of the past week: games scores, pivotal performers, key injuries, and other important updates on each team are included.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST DIVISION STANDINGS

EAST DIVISION

    <th aria-label="Win-Loss %" class=" poptip hide_non_quals center" data-filter="1" data-name="Win-Loss %" data-stat="win_loss_perc" data-tip="Win-Loss Percentage
    W / (W + L)
    For players, leaders need one decision for every ten team games.
    For managers, minimum to qualify for leading is 320 games.” scope=”col” style=”background-color: #dadcde; border-color: rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(170, 170, 170); border-image: initial; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; float: none !important; margin: 0px; opacity: initial; padding: 0px 12.375px; text-align: center;”>W-L%

    <th aria-label="Games Back" class=" poptip sort_default_asc center" data-stat="games_back" data-tip="Games Back of Division/League Leader
    Computed as games over .500 of leader (W-L) minus games over .500 of team divided by two.
    Typically computed at the end of play for a particular day.
    Blank for 1st game of DH.” scope=”col” style=”background-color: #dadcde; border-color: rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(116, 118, 120) rgb(170, 170, 170); border-image: initial; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; float: none !important; margin: 0px; opacity: initial; padding: 0px 12.375px; text-align: center;”>GB

    East Division
    Team W L
    Philadelphia Phillies 23 16 .590
    Atlanta Braves 21 20 .512 3.0
    New York Mets 19 20 .487 4.0
    Washington Nationals 16 24 .400 7.5
    Miami Marlins 10 29 .256 13.0

    ATLANTA BRAVES (3 – 4)

    Summary: Thanks to victories in their final three games of the week, all tight affairs on the road over the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Braves are the lone NL East rival of the Phillies who are over the .500 mark at the present time. The Braves dropped four straight to open the week, getting swept at LA against the Dodgers and dropping the opener of their four-game set in Arizona, before recovering.
    The Atlanta offensive attack has the 4th-highest OPS (.773) in the National League, but their 196 runs scored leaves the club as just middle-of-the-road at 8th-ranked in the league. That OPS drops to just .665, next-to-last in the NL ahead of only the lowly Miami offense with runners in scoring position.
    Veterans Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis continue to pace the offense as the most consistent hitters. Freeman has a .308/.403/.526 slash and leads the club with 19 extra-base hits. Markakis is batting .299 with a .388 OBP and is tied with Freeman and Ronald Acuna for second on the club with 23 RBIs.
    Shortstop Dansby Swanson leads the Braves with 25 RBIs. Third baseman Josh Donaldson is second with 17 extra-base hits and has a .376 OBP. Brian McCann as the lefty half of a catching platoon is slashing .311/.389/508 over 72 plate appearances.
    Atlanta’s best starting pitcher has been 21-year-old Mike Soroka. In what is technically his rookie season (he threw 25.2 innings last season) Soroka has a 3-1 record with a 1.21 ERA and 1.045 WHIP since his mid-April promotion. Soroka is currently on a streak of three consecutive Quality Start outings.
    27-year-old right-hander Luke Jackson appears to have seized the closer role. Jackson has allowed 17 hits over 20 innings across 18 games with a 24/7 K:BB and four Saves over his last six outings.
    Key injuries: Freeman missed Sunday’s game with an undisclosed illness that is not expected to keep him out very long. Lefty reliever Jesse Biddle is on the IL battling a groin strain and right thigh bruise. He is on a minor league rehab assignment and could return later this week. Righty relievers Darren O’Day and Arodys Vizcaino are also on the IL, with Vizcaino out for the season following mid-April surgery on his right pitching shoulder. No timetable on O’Day, who is out with a strain in his right pitching forearm.
    Upcoming: Following an off-day on Monday the Braves will be at home to host both the Saint Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers for three games each.

    MIAMI MARLINS (1 – 5)

    Summary: The Fish opened last week with a win over the red-hot Chicago Cubs but then quickly returned to their losing ways. Miami continued to plummet in the standings by dropping their remaining five games to fall 19 games below the .500 mark, 13 games off the NL East pace. Their .256 winning percentage is by far the worst in Major League Baseball.
    Runs scored, OPS, home runs. You name the category and the Marlins are at the bottom of the National League team rankings. Well…they are tied for 10th in stolen bases and have more than twice as many as the non-running Phillies.
    Former Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro leads the club with five home runs. Veteran Curtis Granderson paces the team with 10 extra-base hits. He and Starlin Castro lead the Marlins with 11 RBIs. Neil Walker has enjoyed a solid season as the primary first baseman, batting .287 with a .379 OBP and nine extra-base hits, second on the club.
    Lefty Caleb Smith continues to enjoy an All-Star caliber campaign, and is easily the shining star on this team thus far in 2019. Smith is 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA and 0.891 WHIP, allowing just 26 hits over 42.2 innings across seven starts. He has a 56/12 K:BB ratio. His last six outings have all been of the Quality Start variety.
    Rookie right-hander Nick Anderson has been overpowering at times out of embattled manager Don Mattingly‘s bullpen. Anderson has a 30/5 K:BB over 16.2 innings, allowing 14 hits. His 4.32 ERA is mostly a product of one poor outing against the Braves.
    The Marlins were expected to finish in the division cellar as the team was clearly pushed into rebuilding mode over the last couple of seasons. However, the club has performed so abysmally that it could result in Mattingly being one of the first managers to lose his job this season.
    Key injuries: The Marlins lost talented righty reliever Drew Steckenrider to a flexor strain in his right elbow. He has been placed on the 60-day IL and his season is in jeopardy. Other than that, the Marlins have been healthy all season.
    Upcoming: Following an off-day on Monday, the Marlins will host their fellow Floridians, the Tampa Bay Rays, in an Interleague two-game series. Another off-day on Thursday will be followed by three at home over next weekend against the division-rival New York Mets.

    NEW YORK METS (3 – 2)

    Summary: The Mets were the lone Phillies rival to enjoy a winning week by taking three of their last four games. They dropped two of three in San Diego to start the week, then took advantage of the weak Marlins to win their next two at home. Sunday’s series finale with Miami was rained out and will be replayed as part of a doubleheader on August 5 at Citi Field.
    Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso continues to lead the offensive stats board with 12 homers, 21 extra-base hits, 32 RBIs, and 25 runs scored for the Mets. However, Alonso has cooled considerably with just a .190/.255/.405 slash over his last 11 games. That slugging percentage is propped up by three homers in that span, but he has just five other hits.
    Right fielder Michael Conforto went 5-6 with two home runs over the two Marlins victories, raising his slash line to .274/.412/.519 over a team-high 170 plate appearances. Shortstop Amed Rosario leads the Mets with four stolen bases, and his 24 RBIs are second on the club.
    The Mets are just ninth in the NL in both runs scored and OPS as they offense has mostly struggled. The pitching staff has been even worse, ranking 12th in both ERA and BAA.
    Jacob deGrom has really picked up the pace on the mound following a rough three-start stretch in mid-April. The 2018 Cy Young Award winner has gone seven innings in each of his last three outings, allowing a total of 12 hits over the 21 innings with a 21/4 K:BB ratio. He has a 1.29 ERA and .162 batting average against in that span.
    After being nearly unhittable over the first month, closer Edwin Diaz has struggled some over his last five outings. He has surrendered five hits including a pair of home runs in that stretch.
    Key injuries: Righty reliever Jeurys Familia received a cortisone injection in his right shoulder and could return later this week. Lefty starter Steven Matz was diagnosed with nerve damage in his pitching shoulder. Lefty relievers Luis Avilan and Justin Wilson both have left elbow discomfort. All three are on the IL with no timetable. Infielder Jed Lowrie has been out with a sprained knee and could finally return later this week following a minor league rehab. Yoenis Cespedes remains out, possibly for the season, following off-season surgery on both heels.
    Upcoming: Following an off-day on Monday, the Mets will host division rivals Washington and Miami in three-game series at Citi Field this week.

    WASHINGTON NATIONALS (2 – 5)

    Summary: They’ve suffered some key injuries but there is no question, the Nationals are one of the most disappointing stories in all of baseball this season. They were swept in Milwaukee to open last week and then split a four-gamer over the weekend in LA against the host Dodgers.
    The Nationals vaunted pitching ranks just 13th of the 15 National League ball clubs thus far in both ERA and BAA. The offensive attack is just 10th in runs scored and OPS. It’s no wonder this club has now fallen seven below the .500 mark.
    The two-headed Dominican combination of 20-year-old Juan Soto and 22-year-old Victor Robles was supposed to lead the way into the future and help smooth the loss of Bryce Harper to the Phillies in free agency. They are hitting just .243 and .250 respectively, though with six homers they are tied for the club lead. Soto leads the team with 23 RBIs and Robles sets the pace with eight stolen bases.
    Veteran Howie Kendrick has proven to be a godsend, slashing .306/.364/.553 with nine extra-base hits over just 99 plate appearances. He is tied for the team lead with six home runs and his 21 RBIs are second on the club. Third baseman Anthony Rendon missed time with an injury but is still slashing .305/.391/.621 with a team-high 18 extra-base hits.
    Max ScherzerPatrick Corbin, and Stephen Strasburg have mostly been strong in the rotation. But the back-end of Anibal Sanchez and Jeremy Hellickson has been poor for the most part, as has the bullpen.
    Closer Sean Doolittle has been one of the few reliable options for manager Dave Martinez out of the pen. He has a 1.00 ERA and 1.111 WHIP with six Saves, allowing just 15 hits over 18 innings with a 20/5 K:BB.
    Key injuries: Kendrick was held out yesterday with neck stiffness and is considered day-to-day. Ryan Zimmerman continues out on the IL with plantar fasciitis. Trea Turner continues out with a fractured finger suffered more than a month ago. He is back doing baseball activities and should be headed to a minor league rehab assignment soon. He could return to the Nationals lineup within two weeks. Matt Adams is on the IL with a left shoulder strain and has no timetable.
    Upcoming: The Nationals are off on Monday and then host both the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs for three-game sets this coming week.
    Originally published at Phillies Nation as Matt Veasey’s NL East Beat: Week of 5/6-5/12/19

    National League East report: 3/28 – 3/31

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    Freddie Freeman and Atlanta start defence of their NL East crown

    I’ll be providing a weekly update scheduled to release every Monday during the regular season, highlighting the happenings within the National League East Division.

    The Philadelphia Phillies swept the defending division champion Atlanta Braves in the 2019 season-opening series for both teams over this past week at Citizens Bank Park.
    I will be presenting those game and series results, but also will be letting you know how each of the Phillies division rivals fared in the prior week of play while supplying important updates for each club.
    The NL East beat reports will also include top producers for each team in the division, interesting statistics, the upcoming schedules, and the ramifications on both the divisional and National League Wildcard playoff races as the season unfolds.
    ATLANTA BRAVES

    Last week: 0-3
    The defending NL East Division champion Braves came to Citizens Bank Park with a number of questions regarding their pitching staff. Those questions found few answers as the Phillies pounded the staff for eight homers en route to scoring 23 runs over three Atlanta losses.
    By far the biggest offensive producer for the Braves was veteran first baseman Freddie Freeman. He slashed an unreal .600/.692/.800 with two doubles and two RBI. 22-year-old second baseman Ozzie Albies had three hits and two walks. Shortstop Dansby Swanson had Atlanta’s lone home run and scored three times.
    On the mound, starter Julio Teheran went five solid innings on Opening Day, allowing three runs on four hits. He struck out seven and walked two. He surrendered a home run to Andrew McCutchen on his first pitch of the season, but left with Atlanta trailing just 3-1.
    The Phillies whooped up on the Atlanta bullpen, thrashing eight relievers for 13 earned runs and 10 hits including five homers over 11.1 innings.
    Key injuries: Starting pitchers Mike Foltynewicz (elbow) and Kevin Gausman (shoulder) and lefty reliever A.J. Minter (shoulder) each began the year on the IL. The Braves hope to get all three back soon.
    Upcoming: The Braves host both the Marlins and Chicago Cubs for three games each this week at SunTrust Park.
    MIAMI MARLINS

    Last week: 2-2
    The Fish, universally picked to finish in the cellar of this talented division, opened their season with a four-game split against the Colorado Rockies of the NL West. After dropping the first two games to the Rox, the Marlins battled back to take the last two by 7-3 and 3-0 scores.
    Former Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro, dealt away as part of the deal to acquire J.T. Realmuto, homered on Opening Day for the Marlins. Shortstop JT Riddle banged a pair of homers during the series. 38-year-old, 16-year big-league veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson played the middle two games of the set, producing a pair of hits including a home run while driving in three runs.
    23-year-old Sandy Alcantara, obtained as part of the Miami rebuilding program in the Marcell Ozuna deal with Saint Louis in December 2017, went eight strong innings on Sunday. The right-hander allowed just four hits while walking no one and striking out six batters. Second-year starter Trevor Richards gave Miami six strong innings in one of the losses. New closer Sergio Romo was clobbered on Friday but rebounded with strong efforts on the weekend, including nailing down his first Save on Sunday.
    Key injuries: Starting pitcher Jose Urena was nailed on the knee by a comebacker on Opening Day. He is expected to make his next start this week against the Mets.
    Upcoming: The Marlins stay at home to start the week with three in South Florida against the division-rival Mets before heading up to Atlanta for a three-game set next weekend against the Braves.
    NEW YORK METS

    Last week: 2-1
    The Mets took the first two games of their season-opening intra-divisional series at Washington. Then they rallied from down 5-2 to tie the Nationals in Sunday’s series finale, only to get walked-off by a Trea Turner home run.
    Robinson Cano drilled a home run among four hits in his NL debut series. Rookie phenom first baseman Pete Alonso had six hits in his big-league debut including three doubles with three RBI. Super-utility man Jeff McNeil started twice in left field and once at third base, contributing four hits including a double and triple. Wilson Ramos, who briefly caught for the Phillies last season, had four hits while scoring three times and driving in three runs.
    On the hill the Mets received a strong Opening Day outing from Jacob deGrom, who allowed five hits while walking one and striking out 10 batters over six innings to gain a victory. Noah Syndergaard struck out seven and walked no one over six innings but was touched for four earned runs and seven hits in his first start. New closer Edwin Diaz registered his first two Saves for New York, striking out one batter over 1.1 perfect frames.
    Key injuries: Veteran outfielder Yoenis Cespedes (heel surgery) remains on the IL with no timetable for his return. It is possible that the 34-year-old could miss the entire season after appearing in just 38 games a year ago. Infielders Jed Lowrie (knee) and Todd Frazier (oblique) and catcher Travis d’Arnaud (elbow) each have no firm timetable but could all return at some point later in April.
    Upcoming: The Mets will be in Miami to open the week, then head home to the Big Apple for their home opener on Thursday against Washington. Following an off-day on Friday those same two clubs will battle twice more next weekend.
    WASHINGTON NATIONALS

    Last week: 1-2
    The Nats are considered the favorites by many to win their fifth NL East crown in eight years in what is expected to be a four-team battle royale. They began their season by dropping two of three to the Mets at home, avoiding a sweep thanks to that Turner walk-off bomb in Sunday’s finale.
    Turner produced five hits during the series including a pair of homers. He scored four times, drove in four runs, and also stole four bases. Still considered a rookie, Victor Robles produced five hits including three doubles and a home run, scoring three times. Anthony Rendon and Adam Eaton each had four hits and a pair of runs scored.
    On the mound, three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, who finished runner-up for those honors a year ago, was brilliant in his season debut. The 34-year-old, 12-year veteran allowed two hits and walked three while striking out a dozen over eight innings on Opening Day. Unfortunately he lost when the club got shut down by deGrom, last year’s Cy Young winner. Both veteran Stephen Strasburg and newcomer Patrick Corbin provided six innings in their respective outings. The Nationals bullpen was roughed up by the Mets, allowing 16 hits and 10 earned runs over 7.1 innings.
    Key injuries: Veteran utility man Howie Kendrick (hamstring) and young outfielder Michael Taylor (knee) are each working their way back. Taylor seems ahead of Kendrick, but no firm timetable on either.
    Upcoming: If you’ve been living in a cave without access to media over the last few days you may not be aware that Bryce Harper is returning to where it all began. The Nationals host the Phillies on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Scherzer getting the nod for the Nats in the opener. It should be quite a scene. Washington then ends the week traveling up to New York for the home-opening series for the Mets.
    Originally published at Phillies Nation as Matt Veasey’s NL East beat

    Phillies young ace Aaron Nola named as a Cy Young Award finalist

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    Phillies young ace Aaron Nola named a Cy Young Award finalist for first time

    Major League Baseball announced the finalists for its 2018 major awards today, and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola was named as one of the three finalists for the National League Cy Young Award.

    The 25-year-old Nola enjoyed a breakout campaign for the Phillies this past season. Becoming the team’s ace, the young right-hander went 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA, 0.975 WHIP, 175 ERA+, and 3.01 FIP.
    Nola allowed only 149 hits this year in 212.1 innings across 33 starts with a 224/58 K:BB ratio. His 10.5 WAR mark was the best by any pitcher in the game and the second-highest in all of baseball, just ahead of Mike Trout and just behind Mookie Betts.
    The other finalists announced for the award were Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals and Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets.
    Scherzer went 18-7 with a 2.53 ERA, 0.911 WHIP, 168 ERA+, and 2.65 FIP. Over 33 starts the 34-year-old allowed 150 hits in 220.2 innings pitched with a 300/51 K:BB ratio and 8.8 WAR mark.
    The right-hander already has three Cy Young Awards on his mantle at home. Scherzer won the American League Cy Young Award with Detroit in 2014 before taking home the honors for the National League in each of the last two seasons with Washington.
    The 30-year-old deGrom went 10-9 with a 1.70 ERA, 0.912 WHIP, 216 ERA+, and a 1.98 FIP. He yielded 152 hits across 217 innings over 32 starts with a 269/46 K:BB ratio and 9.6 WAR mark.
    A two-time NL All-Star, deGrom was the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year. The righty finished seventh in 2015 and eighth a year ago in previous NL Cy Young Award voting results.

    View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

    .@AaronNola027 finished this season 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA and 224 strikeouts over his 33 starts.

    Thank you, Ace, for one heck of a 2018!

    This was easily the Phillies finest performance from a starting pitcher since Cliff Lee put together his last great season in 2013. In fact, Vince Velasquez in 2015 and Jeremy Hellickson in both 2016 and 2017 are the only Phillies starting pitchers besides Nola to finish with a winning season since that time.

    After the Phillies had defeated the Nationals back on August 23 with Nola out-dueling Scherzer by tossing eight shutout frames, manager Gabe Kapler threw his support behind his own hurler for the honors. Matt Breen at Philly.com quoted the skipper following that game:

    “Nola in my opinion is the Cy Young this year. Of course, Nola is our guy. But I watch him every time out there and just the dependability, the consistency, the creativity, the numbers. The numbers speak for themselves.”

    An examination of some of those key “numbers” at the end of the season, stats that the voters will surely use to make their final selection, you can see that Nola may not be favored or expected to actually win the award.
    However, that the Phillies now have such a young, legitimate ace to front their staff is encouraging. It will now be management’s job to bring in or develop another big arm or two in order to further enhance the team’s ability to rise to contending status.
    Four pitchers have won the NL Cy Young Award while wearing a Phillies uniform. Right-handers John Denny (1983), Steve Bedrosian (1987), and Roy Halladay (2010) all took home the honors. Lefty Steve Carlton (1972, 1977, 1980, 1982) won the award four times during his Hall of Fame career.
    The winners of the 2018 Cy Young awards in both the National and American Leagues will be announced on November 14 at 6:00PM EST.

    Originally published at Phillies Nation as “Aaron Nola named as a finalist for National League Cy Young Award

    MLB 2016 Prediction: National League Cy Young Award

    Our staff has just released our predictions for the winners of each division, as well as our postseason predictions, including the 2016 World Series winner. 
    I released my own predictions for the Phillies in the coming season. Now we begin the process of releasing our predictions for some of MLB’s major award winners.
    The Cy Young Award is given annually to the top pitchers in Major League Baseball. Instituted for the 1956 season, the award was originally given to just one pitcher as the best in all of baseball from 1956 through the 1966 season.
    Beginning in 1967, MLB began to award one pitcher in each league. Roger Clemens won the award a record seven times during his career. 
    Newly elected Baseball Hall of Famer Randy Johnson won the honors five times, including four in a row from 1999-2002. Greg Maddux also won four straight years, from 1992-95.
    The only other 4x winner of the Cy Young Award was Phillies Hall of Famer Steve Carlton. Lefty took home the honors in the National League in 1972, 1977, 1980, and again in 1982.

    There have been three other Phillies’ pitchers to win the award in franchise history. In 1983, John Denny led the NL with 19 wins and was 2nd in ERA and became the 2nd Phils’ pitcher honored.
    In 1987, Phils’ closer Steve Bedrosian led the NL with what was then a club record 40 Saves, and edged out starting pitchers Rick Reuschel and Rick Sutcliffe in one of the closest votes ever. He is one of just nine relief pitchers to ever win the award.
    It was another 23 years before another Phillies pitcher won the honors. Roy Halladay won the 2010 NL Cy Young Award as just the 13th pitcher to be selected in a unanimous vote, and the 5th to win the award in both leagues. 
    This was following a season in which he led the league in wins (21), complete games (9), shutouts (4), and innings pitched (250.2) while also tossing a perfect game.
    Our staff has installed Los Angeles Dodgers perennial Cy Young favorite Clayton Kershaw as the 2016 favorite, giving him half of our votes. 
    The lefty already has three of the awards on his shelf, having won in 2011, 2013 and 2014. He finished second in the 2012 voting, and third a year ago.
    Four other pitchers each received a single vote, and each should be considered a 2016 contender: Gerrit Cole of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets, Adam Wainwright of the Saint Louis Cardinals, and Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals.