Around the NL East: Atlanta keeps rolling

Around the NL East: Atlanta keeps rolling
April 16, 2013, 11:30 am
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Sizing up the week that was in the National League East, noting that while the standings haven't changed since last week, Atlanta continues to widen its lead -- and possibly inspire a little fear in the rest of the division that this may be their year.

Atlanta Braves: 11-1

Atlanta, off to their best start since opening 13-0 in 1982, is starting to look truly scary at this point. Evan Gattis, stepping in for the injured Brian McCann at catcher, has also filled in for the DL'd Freddie Freeman at first base. He continues to mash regardless of his defensive position, and is second on the team with four home runs and boasts a .324 average. As dominant as the Braves have been -- and did they ever look dominant in that three-game sweep of the Nats -- two thirds of their outfield has yet to start hitting, as B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward continue to toil beneath the Mendoza line, with Heyward hitting a paltry .103. The rest of the East, and the whole of the National league, is dreading the day when those two inevitably find their groove.

Player of the Week: Gattis, C/1B: 4R, 3HR, 9 RBI, .304 AVG 

Miami Marlins: 2-11

As much is going right in Atlanta, just as much is going wrong in South Beach. The Marlins, who figure to be bottom-feeders the entire season, have put up no pretense of contending, either on the field or through their front office machinations (no matter what owner Jeffrey Loria says). Only one regular, third baseman Placido Polanco, is hitting better than .240, and until slugger Giancarlo Stanton gets going (.167 AVG, team-leading 12 Ks), they're going to struggle to score any runs at all. The lone bright spot continues to be righthander Jose Fernandez, the last man added to the team; though he dazzled again in his second career start, he remains winless -- a theme that, unfortunately, figures to continue. 

Player of the Week: Fernandez, SP: 0-0, 6 IP, 5 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP

New York Mets: 7-4

Holding steady in second place, the Mets continue to ride the surprisingly powerful bat of catcher John Buck, who is up to six home runs and 19 runs batted in and is so far single-handedly winning the R.A. Dickey trade for New York. A notoriously streaky hitter, Buck will eventually give way to the real crown jewel sent over by the Jays, catching prospect Travis D'Arnaud, but for now, the Mets can afford to keep D'Arnaud stashed in AAA. Budding ace Matt Harvey turned in another sparkling pitching performance, boosting his record to 3-0 and lowering his ERA to a microscopic 0.82.

Player of the Week: Daniel Murphy, 2B/1B/OF: 5 R, 5 2B, 5 RBI, .500 AVG 

Philadelphia Phillies: 6-7

The Phillies righted the ship a bit this past week, going 4-2 to creep towards .500, though second baseman Chase Utley continues to be the only one driving in any runs (he leads the team with 12). Roy Halladay finally broke through and recorded a win, though he and ace Cole Hamels -- who doesn't have the age excuse to fall back on -- are both still sitting on ghastly ERAs of around 7.50. John Lannan continues to be a nice surprise for them, though a lack of run support has left him searching for his first win of the season. 

Player of the Week: Ben Revere, OF: 1 R, 2 SB, but mostly this amazing catch...