Friday, September 30, 2005

 

2005's Final Series Starts Tonight

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECAP: J. J. wins when A. J. hasn't. (EDIT: Well, he didn't lose, anyway.) Marlins locked in titanic struggle with Nats and Mets to stay out of last place.

 

Marlins' Next Manager Officially Escapes

He can give us all the ins-and-outs on how to beat the Devil Rays. (MLB)

 

BREAKING NEWS!: Mr. Samson's Win Prediction Last April Was a Little Off

(PastPost)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

 

They're Still Playing Games?

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECAP: Well, the Fish didn't play last night. That's why they didn't lose. Brewers vying to be next team to pass Marlins in WC standings.

 

Rap Sheet on MIGUEL CABRERA:

July, August - Suspect CABRERA stops shagging fly balls.

Early Sept. - Suspect CABRERA arrived on the field for stretching and was kicking a soccer ball.

Mid Sept. - Suspect CABRERA arrived in clubhouse shortly before stretching and announced, "Don't worry, guys, I'm here. Don't worry."

20Sept05 - Suspect CABRERA "blew off stretching"

22Sept05 - Suspect CABRERA failed to report on time for treatment a day after fouling a ball off knee; Manager MCKEON takes Suspect CABRERA out of lineup.

25Sept05 - Suspect CABRERA arrived at ballpark 45 min. before game time in Atlanta; claimed he overslept.

26Sept05 - Manager MCKEON benches Suspect CABRERA for one game.

27Sept05 - Suspect CABRERA interviewed by reporter; Suspect CABRERA momentarily switches from Spanish to English to deliver an expletive.

28Sept05 - Suspect CABRERA scolded by teammates in closed-door meeting; Suspect CABRERA says that he was misquoted; Suspect CABRERA hits home run; Manager MCKEON says Suspect CABRERA is "a fine young man."

- (PalmBeachPost)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

 

Will The Fish Fall to Fifth in the East?

(Or how about Sixth in the Wild Card?...)

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

CHANT: 'We're Number FIVE!! We're Number FIVE!!..'

 

Delgado, Lowell, Castillo, Lo Duca and Villone

These five guys are getting the lion's share of the Marlins' future payroll. (GoogleMiamiHerald)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

 

Tuesday's Matchups/Games

Just one scintilla of hope left, and with the Mets and Nats close to overtaking the Fish...

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

BYE-BYE SEASON: The fat lady sings, with the volume set to 11. Mets jump past Marlins into 3rd place.

 

Welcome to 'Instant Offseason!'

A. J. who? And Cabrera, too? (SunSentinel)

McKeon "subdued"? McKeon did "a lot of thinking"? McKeon not telling people something? (SunSentinel)

Monday, September 26, 2005

 

Washington at Florida, Mets at Philadelphia, Colorado at Atlanta,...

...tomorrow Houston at St. Louis, but here's today's games...

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

WHATEVER: Marlins, Phillies, Braves lose - Mets and Nats win.

 

David Pinto Wonders What La Russa Will Do Against The Astros

(Baseball)(Musings)

 

Burnett Fumes

(SunSentinel)(PalmBeachPost)(GoogleMiamiHerald)

MORE: "Burnett also ranks among the NL leaders with 79 walks, including four Sunday. He walked Chipper Jones to open the fourth inning and pinch-hitter Kelly Johnson to open the seventh, when the Braves took the lead. Both runners scored." (Covers.com)

 

Fred Grimm Reviews the Stadium-Shelter Proposal

(GoogleMiamiHerald)

Sunday, September 25, 2005

 

For Anyone Who's Interested...

...here's today's slate.

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECRAP: Marlins, Nats, Astros lose. Braves, Phillies, Mets win.

 

A Thot

My Mets-fan friend, a serious baseball purist (he wants all baseball records from 1988 to today stamped with a 'steriods' asterisk), brought up something to me that's probably already been talked to death, but that I thought had legitimacy.

Right now there are 5 NL teams with win-loss records better than or equal to the San Diego Padres who have little or no chance of making the postseason, while San Diego is pretty close to being a shoe-in.

This is true obviously because the Padres are the leaders in the NL West, which is a supposedly 'weaker' division.

But the fact that San Diego plays the majority of their games against these so-called 'weaker' opponents and still can only muster a .500 record makes their playoff status sound even more like a joke.

Is that right? Is that fair?

It doesn't matter - it's the way baseball is right now. The Powers That Be love the divisional setup, the unbalanced schedules, and the supposedly 'natural' rivalries.

Which means one possible way to let fairness matter will likely never be considered - that is, abandon the divisions, or make all the teams in a league one whole division, and let the 4 teams with the best win-loss records in each league go to the playoffs.

Say, what about the excitement the the Wild Card races? Well, what would the difference be between a race for the Wild Card and a race for Fourth Place? I'll tell you - the race for 4th place would probably be just as exciting, with the sure benefit of having the teams with the best records playing in the postseason.

This may sound like sour grapes, as if baseball should reorganize itself just because of my desire to make the Marlins' misfortunes this year less daunting. But remember, if everything suddenly magically transformed to the way I'm proposing right now, the Fish would still be 3 games out of the playoffs with 7 games to go, which wouldn't really be that much of a help.

And it was my Mets-fan friend who wants this, and the Mets are even farther back.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

 

8 Games Left, 4 Games Back....Piece of Cake

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECRAP: Yeah, piece of cake....a big fat piece of fried-out fish cake. Marlins lose, Astros win, Phillies lose.

Friday, September 23, 2005

 

Friday Baseball

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECRAP: GROAN!!! Even Dave Van Horne throws in the towel. Marlins, Astros lose - Phillies win.

 

Coming Up This Weekend...

Marlins at Braves - "Atlanta, which is in the middle of a nine-game homestand, is 49-26 in its friendly confines this season. Atlanta is 7-5 against the Marlins this season and 21-10 versus them since the start of last season, including a 12-3 home record." (SportsNetwork)

Houston at Cubs - "Chicago, which is beginning a five-game homestand, is just 36-40 at Wrigley Field this season. The Cubs own a slight 5-4 advantage in this series in 2005, including a 2-1 home mark. Chicago is 24-20 against Houston since the start of the 2003 campaign." (SportsNetwork)

Phillies at Reds - "Cincinnati improved to 41-37 at home for the season, assuring its first winning home record for the first time since they went 43-38 in 2000. The Reds will be closing out their home slate this weekend. These teams split four meetings in Philadelphia in May. Since the start of last season, the squads have each won five contests in the set." (SportsNetwork)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

 

Can the Fat Lady Be Silenced?

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECAP: Well, maybe she's taking a bon-bon break. Fish, Phillies, Astros win.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

 

Oh, I Get It....They're Just Trying To Build Up The Suspense....Yeah, That Must Be It...

(Hope they don't build much more.)

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECRAP!!!: AAAARGH!! Stick a fork in the fat lady! She's singing!

 

Mike Gives Up!

(FishStripes)

And so does Dan Le Batard. (GoogleMiamiHerald)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

 

Tonight's Matchups/Scores

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECRAP: Marlins and Phillies and Nats lose, Astros win.

 

"Listen, There's Never A Weather Problem On The Sofa."

Marlins pile up both empty seats and monster ratings. (PalmBeachPost)

 

Coming Up To The Plate...

Marlins at Mets - After starting off the year 3-6 against New York, Florida has beat the Mets 2 games out of 3 in their last 2 series.

Phillies at Braves - The Braves and Phillies have alternated winning and losing series all year - Phils won 2-of-3 in the middle of April, Braves swept 3 at the end of April, Phillies win 2-of-3 at the end of May (the last time they played in Turner Field), Braves win 2-of-3 at the start of July, and the Phillies won 3-of-4 just last week.

San Francisco at Washington - The Nats won 2-of-3 from the Giants May 6-8 (but they didn't have to contend with Barry Bonds).

Monday, September 19, 2005

 

Houston at Pittsburgh Starting 4-Gamer Tonight

Pittsburgh won 2-of-3 from Houston August 12-14 (yay), but the Astros swept 4 from the Pirates the last time they were in Pittsburgh (yuck).

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECAP: YIPPIE!! Pirates skewer Astros, Fish now 2 back. Great way to celebrate 'Talk Like a Pirate Day'.

 

The Grass is Crap

ALSO...A. J. has figured it out, while Dontrelle and Josh are slated for overtime. (PalmBeachPost)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

 

Will the Marlins' Off-Season Start Tonight?

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECAP: Not yet! Marlins squeak by the Phillies, 14-6. But Houston wins also, while Nats lose.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

 

Help, D-Train!! Save Us!!

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECRAP: Well, he tried. Oh Lord, how did he try! But sometimes the gas runs out and the balls slip by and the world ends up collapsing. Fish 2.5 games behind Houston, 2 behind Phils.

Friday, September 16, 2005

 

15 Games To Go, Half-Game Out

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECAP: Marlin's brilliant strategy of getting the rest of this season's losses out of their system continues. Fish now 1.5 games behind WC leader Astros, 1 behind Phils.

 

Next Serii...

Phillies at Marlins - Fish lost 2 of 3 at Philly last week but are 4-2 against them in South Florida this year.

Brewers at Astros - Houston lost 2 of 3 from Miwaukee last week but are 4-2 against them in Texas this year.

Nationals at Padres - The Padres swept 3 from the Nats at RFK August 5-7, their only meeting this year.

Braves at Mets - Atlanta swept 3 from New York at Turner Field August 5-7. They last played at Shea July 14-17, and split the series 2-2.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

 

Here Comes the Wild Card's Bald Dog - You Know You Don't Wanna Pettitte

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECRAP: Astros beat Marlins, Braves beat Phillies, Fish now tied with Philly, a half-game behind Houston.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

 

Tonight: Burnett vs. Clemens in Houston, Ramirez vs. Lidle in Philly

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECAP: Clemens pitched what will be another chapter in his future biographies last night. Fish now tied with Phillies for the WC lead, the Astros a half-game behind.

 

Bye Bye Ballpark - The Continuing Saga

"'I am not optimistic regarding the future of the ballpark project at the Orange Bowl,' County Manager George Burgess wrote to county commissioners.

"'As currently contemplated, the ballpark project requires substantial public funding and financing and I think we have reached the limits of our ability to contribute in a responsible manner to this project.'...

"Burgess said a previous funding gap of up to $45 million for a 38,000-seat, retractable-roof stadium to open in 2008, could reach $100 million since a stadium could not be ready before 2009....

"The Marlins, Burgess wrote, 'did not seem willing to continue to work to find a way to resolve the issues and are reluctant to further expend money and resources on the project.'

"Marlins executives declined to comment. City of Miami officials have also said they cannot contribute more." (SunSentinel)

 

Hey, A. J., No Reason to Put Any Pressure on Yourself...

...just don't think about today's being the BIGGEST GAME OF YOUR LIFE!!! (GoogleMiamiHerald)

...and Phil Garner's is only 'adamant' in thinking Clemens will be starting tonight. (HoustonChronicle)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

 

Good Start, But Still 3 Games Left in Texas, Starting Tonight

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECAP: One more win under Marlins' belt, but Philly wins, too, and is just a game behind.

 

Quake in Fear, Opposing Teams - Hear Comes The Mordecai!!!

(SunSentinel)

 

Marlins Giving Of Themselves

(FishStripes)..."the first major-league baseball team to visit with Hurricane Katrina evacuees." - Houston Chronicle

 

This Year's Astros vs. Last Year's Astros

"Perhaps more than any other contending team, with the possible exception of Cleveland, the Astros are an unknown quantity." (HoustonChronicle)

 

"I Can't Get Any More Intense Than I am Right Now, or I'll Lose my Mind."

A complete game, a home run, and a team scoring runs behind him brings a big 'W' to D-Train and the Fish. (HoustonChronicle)

And now we know the secret to his success - his Ankle Supports! (CourierJournal)

Monday, September 12, 2005

 

19 Games To Go, Half-Game Out

PREDICTION: I won't be writing 'half-game out' tomorrow.

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECAP: Fish WIN, and are on top of the Wild Card standings by one brilliant, shining, enormous half-game. Phillies win also and sneak up a half-game behind the Astros.

 

FROM OUR CRACK STAT DEPT.

Astros' and Marlins' win-loss totals against ONLY opponents that they both faced, and ONLY in the stadiums that they both played in.
(Basically all away games except the Houston series in Florida, and no interleague games.)

Totals - Marlins 33-35, Astros 28-35

(Overall On The Road - Marlins 35-36, Astros 30-42)

Astros' and Marlins' win-loss totals against ONLY opponents that they both faced, no matter where they played.
(This includes the above numbers plus the home games of those teams, and Texas, who both Florida and Houston played but not in the same stadium.)

Totals - Marlins 68-63, Astros 71-63

(Overall - Marlins 76-67, Astros 76-66)

 

Coming Up...

Florida at Houston - In 2005 the Marlins have faced the Astros for one series in fabulous Miami Gardens on May 9 - 11, with the Fish winning 2 games out of 3.

Atlanta at Philadelphia - The last time these two teams matched up was in Philly at the beginning of July - Atlanta won 2 out of the 3 games. Overall the Phils are 5-7 against the Braves this year.

Washington at New York - The Nats return to Shea Stadium, where they lost 2 out of 3 games to the Mets last month. So far Washington is 5-8 against the Mets this season.

 

Ernie Harwell Praises Len Casper

"I have a feeling he'll be in Chicago as the TV voice of the Cubs for a long time." (DetroitFreePress)

 

Oh, Oh, It's Coin-Flipping Time

Time to see where the Fish'll play in case of a playoff....Also a few (stinking) expletives from Jack. (GoogleMiamiNews)

It may not matter, as none of the wild-card contenders are playing at postseason levels. (Zwire.com)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

 

20 Games to Go, Half-Game Out

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECRAP: Fish L-O-S-E! And so does Houston (whoopee), and the Nats. Mets and Phillies win.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

 

21 Games to Go, Half-Game Out

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECAP: Fish and Houston wins. Philly drops, Braves beat Nats. And St. Louis beat some other team.

Friday, September 09, 2005

 

Tonight's Menu

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

PARTIAL-CAP: Is A.J. Burnett really 'a burnt jet'? Fish, Braves, Mets lose - Philly, Nats win.

END-CAP: Houston loses, too. Didn't lose ground, lost opportunity.

 

2 More Fish Games on Sun Sports, But Are They In The Future or In The Past?

Quotes from article:

"The cable channel is to televise Marlins road games against the Houston Astros on Wednesday, Sept. 14, and against the New York Mets on Wednesday, Sept. 21."

Okay, cool. Where's that VCR remote?

"The Aug. 14 telecast starts at 8 p.m. and the Aug. 21 telecast starts at 7 p.m., both Eastern time."

WHA? Huh? August?? Do I need a time machine now?

"Neither game was scheduled for FSN Florida or the Florida "i" network stations..."

Well, I guess it's hard to schedule something that seems to be occuring in parallel dimensions.

"Announcers for the two games are to be Rich Waltz and Tommy Hutton..."

...with possible guest appearance by Rod Serling.

 

More Weekend Matchups

Marlins at Philadelphia - The Fish had won 3 straight series against the Phillies this year, then lost their last one in Philadelphia July 14-17, winning 1 game out of 4. Overall the Marlins lead the series 7-6. The Fish are on a 3-game win streak, the Phillies a 5-game losing streak.

Atlanta at Washington - The Nats are the only NL East team that doesn't have a losing record this year against Atlanta (they're 8-8). They just finished splitting a 4-game series (with a doubleheader) August 30 - September 1 at Turner Field, and the Braves swept the Nats there for 3 at the end of July. The last time Atlanta was at RFK (May 30 - June 2) the Braves lost 3 out of 4. Atlanta's won their last 3 games, Washington lost their last 3 (Yeah, Marlins!)

Houston at Milwaukee - The Astros and Brewers last played each other August 18-21 at Houston, where they split a 4-game series. Houston won 2 out of 3 at Milwaukee May 27-29. Along with a 2-game sweep at home in April, the Astros now are leading the season series 6-3. Houston has swept 2 of their last 3 series' opponents, while Milwaukee's won 4 of their last 7 games.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

 

Astros Idle, But It Looks Like a Tough Game Tonight

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECAP: Not so tough! Fish WIN, and are a Half-game back in Wild Card.

 

Some Fun With Anagrams

With help from the Internet Anagram Server...

Josh Beckett - THE BEST JOCK

A. J. Burnett - A BURNT JET

Dontrelle Willis - WIDE LENTILS ROLL, SWELLED TRILLION, INSTILLED ORWELL, NOSTRIL LIED WELL, LOWELL ISNT IDLER

Mike Lowell - LIKE MELLOW

Todd Jones - NO ODD JEST, JED DO SNOT

Miguel Cabrera - ARGUABLE CRIME, AMERICA BUGLER, CURABLE MIRAGE, ARAB MICE GRUEL, LABIA CREME RUG, CIGAR LAME RUBE

McKeon - CONK 'EM

 

Weekend Matchups - Early Edition

Mets at St. Louis - The Mets drag their collective carcasses to St. Louis tonight. New York has lost their last 3 games and have lost 9 of 12 since sweeping Arizona at the BOB. St. Louis just finished losing 2 of 3 from the Cubs at home. The only time this year the Mets faced the Cardinals was at Shea May 13-15, where St. Louis won 2 out of 3 games.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

 

D-Train Trying For Twenty Tonight

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECAP: He does it! Astros and Atlanta complete the sweeps.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

 

At This Moment...

...on Tuesday afternoon, CoolStandings has Houston the odds-on (51%) favorite to win the Wild Card.

MORE!: As of Wednesday morning the Astros' chances are up to 60%. No wonder - Houston's on the verge of sweeping the Phillies for the second time this year. And the Phils aren't one of those sub-.500 teams the Astros are supposed to stomp all over.

 

Tuesday's Games

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECAP: Fish win! So do Astros. Nats, Phils, Mets lose.

 

"Who Scored The First Run In Florida Marlins' Organizational History Back In 1992?"

...and what is he doing now? (TheTimesOnline)

 

The Marlins Need Some More Discord

Hey, it seems to work for the Nats. (TimesDispatch)

 

Alex And Mike On The Bench

Wilson and Mordacai are coming. (SunSentinel)

 

Todd Jones on The Perils of Playing in (previously) Pro Player Park

(PalmBeachPost)

Monday, September 05, 2005

 

Labor Day Play

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECRAP: Nats beat Fish! Astros beat Philly! Braves beat Mets!

 

Next Up...

Marlins at Washington - Fish are 6-5 this year against the Nats, beating them 2 games to 1 in their most recent series in late July, but getting swept 3 games by Washington the last time they were in RFK in early June.

Houston at Philadelphia - Their only meeting was on July 25-27 at Houston, where the trio of Pettitte, Oswalt and Clemens combined to sweep the Phillies. (Pettitte and Oswalt are scheduled on this go-around).

Mets at Atlanta - Mets are 4-9 against Atlanta this year. In their last series (July 14-17) they split 4 games at Shea. But the Mets suffered a 3-game sweep on their last trip to Atlanta in May.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

 

Jack Goes For His Next 1000

A.J. and Seo, whaddya know? (SportsNetwork)(SunSentinel)

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECRAP: Opportunity left waiting at the door! Fish, Phils, Astros lose - Nats and Mets sneak one game closer.

 

Obituaries Already Being Written for Mets Season

Here's Bob Klapisch's.... (NorthJersey.com)

Saturday, September 03, 2005

 

Bye Bye Ballpark?

Talks with the city stall as prices go higher....ALSO, Dontrelle on his sliding techinique...ailing Alex...and a schedule change. (MLB)

 

This Day in Baseball

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECAP: Fish Win! and gain a game on losing Philly! Astros lose and now are tied with Marlins a half-game from first place. Nats, Braves win - Mets, Brewers lose.

Friday, September 02, 2005

 

Fish Are 5-7 Against Mets, But Won Their Last Series at Shea 2-1

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECAP: Braves, Phillies, Astros, Marlins, Brewers win. Mets and Nats lose.

 

How Did Wild Card Contenders Do This Year Against Their Rest-Of-The-Season Opponents?

Astros, 24-25
Marlins, 27-26
Mets, 32-29
Nationals, 29-33
Phillies, 29-34

MY POINT: Concerning all the talk of the Astros' 'advantage' in playing mainly sub-.500 teams for the rest of the season....checking back to Houston's win-loss record so far this year against all the teams that they will be playing against till the end of the season shows that they have close to a .500 record in those games, which is not too dissimiliar to the other W. C. contenders' past performances against their future opponents, and doesn't point to any massive Astro advantage.

MORE: Just for comparison purposes, as of Saturday morning the Braves are 39-24 against the rest of their regular-season's opponents. (And the Brewers are 30-35.)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

 

Marlins Take A Breather While The Other Contenders Continue The Bludgeoning

(Yahoo)(ESPN)(Sportsline)(MLB)(FOX)(CNNSI)

RECAP: Phillies, Astros gain a Half-game on Marlins. Mets, Nats go a half-game further behind Marlins.

 

Boswell Writes The Mother of All Wild-Card-Race-Preview Stories

"All of the teams in the National League wild-card race stink. But one of these smelly clubs is going to go to the playoffs despite its aroma....Over the next five weeks, the wild card will not be won by the team that performs the most heroics but rather by the club, faced with constant embarrassments, which quits on itself the least....(W)hoever it is, that team will probably feel as if it had thrown away its last chance a dozen times....Nobody's happy. Nobody's confident or truly believes they're good. Almost everybody is utterly terrified of their schedule." (WashingtonPost)

 

Wild Card Then and Now

On August 20 the Phillies were in the lead, with the Astros behind them by a half-game, the Marlins by one game, the Nats by one-and-a-half games, and the Mets by two games. (PastPost)

Now, the Phillies are in the lead, with the Astros behind them by a half-game, the Marlins by one game, the Mets by one-and-a-half games, and the Nats by two games.

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