The general consensus is that the Phillies are eventually going to run away with the National League East, thanks to their powerful lineup and deep rotation. This makes sense, even though that “deep rotation” looks to us suspiciously like “Roy Halladay and a bunch of guys everyone thinks are better than they are.” But right now, the NL East is the wackiest division in baseball. Let’s just say this: If everything falls right in tonight’s games, the Washington Nationals will be tied for first place. And that’s after they just lost two in a row.
The Mets missed a chance to take over first place by their lonesome again last night, falling 3–2 to the Reds on a walk-off homer by Laynce Nix. It was the third loss in a row for the Mets, which would be more worrisome if everyone else in the division weren’t keeping the water level low. Remember when the Braves had lost nine in a row and were falling apart? Well, they’ve won three in a row now and are only three games out of first.
Oliver Perez pitched well enough, and the Mets were due for an off night with the bats. (By the way, Carlos Beltran is going to finally start running.) Earlier this year, we told you about Dave Cameron’s “wins in the bank” principle, the idea that early season wins without top players almost count more. The Mets just needed to stay close to everyone until Beltran and, to a lesser extent, Daniel Murphy return, and they can look further into options to improve their rotation. So far, they’re doing that. But easy on the three-game losing streaks, okay?