N. L. East: Braves With a Comfortable Lead Over Nationals
In Saturday’s nationally televised game between the Washington Nationals and New York Mets, broadcaster Keith Hernandez pointed out several problems with Nats third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and his fundamentals. There was no better fielder than Hernandez in his day, so he is a credible expert. Zimmerman made two crucial errors that cost his team two runs by not being down in a “ready” position to start the play. The first happened with the Nats up 1-0 when a ball hit to scooted under his glove and struck his foot on a ball hit hit by Kirk Nieuwhenhuis. The play gave the Mets an extra outing the fourth and John Buck, who had only one RBI in the month of June, capitalized on it with a single to score Marlon Byrd.
Then in the fifth, Byrd hit one to third that Zimmerman again booted which allowed Daniel Murphy to get to third. Shortstop Ian Desmond then tried to get Murphy at third but his throw got away and Murphy scored the go-ahead run. Dillon Gee and the Mets bullpen shut the Nationals down from there and the Mets went on to win 5-1.
The Atlanta Braves opened up a 6.5 game lead with an 11-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Braves scored seven times in the bottom of the eighth to first take the lead, then blow the game open for their fourth win in five games. Justin Upton had three hits in the game and brother B.J. Upton had two RBIs included a sac fly in the eighth for the Braves. The Diamondbacks lead in the N. L. West is now down to two games over the Colorado Rockies.
The Miami Marlins whipped the San Diego Padres 7-1 to win for the sixth time in eight games. The Fish jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead on a Padres error after Marcel Ozuna had singled to third with two men on. The error by center fielder Alexi Amarista scored two runs and allowed Ozuna to get to third. He then scored the third run on a sac fly by Placido Polanco. Jacob Turner got a complete game win as he allowed only one run and seven hits with seven strike outs.
In Los Angeles, The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3. The Phillies tied the game 3-3 in the top of the ninth when a throwing error by Matt Kemp allowed Michael Young to score the tying run. But in the bottom of the ninth A. J. Ellis, who earlier in the game failed to break it open when he hit into a double play with the bases loaded on no outs, singled in the winning run to give the Dodgers a 4-3 win. It was their eighth win in nine games as they pulled to within five games of the N. L. West lead. The Phillies dropped to 8.5 back in the East.