NL East Update: The one where Jason Bay has been far from amazin’

As the Mets continue to slide, so does Jason Bay.

Seriously, what is wrong with this guy? Gary Cohen and Ron Darling were right on point in last nights broadcast when they said that when Jason Bay swings and misses at pitches, he is missing them by at least a foot. He hasn’t been right all season, its already late July and were still waiting for him to find his first “hot streak”…that’s absolutely pathetic. To be honest, it should have been Bay that has to share the platoon with Angel Pagan instead of Jeff Francoeur, who could be on his way out of town. To be fair, Carlos Beltran struggled in his first year with the Mets back in 2005, but then emerged as the team MVP in 2006 en route to a NLCS appearance. Regardless of how the rest of the year plays out for Bay, 2010 will be a disappointment for him, we can only hope he figures out how to hit a baseball again for 2011.

In April, the Braves were in the midst of a nine-game losing streak, now in May, they could be the best team in the National League.

This turnaround has been amazing. I didn’t think any team could recover from a losing streak that bad, but Atlanta proved us all wrong. The key is that they have been winning series, as made evident by them taking two of three from Florida, Philadelphia and New York going into the All-Star break. Those wins have added up and the Braves are now 6.5 games ahead of the second place Mets. Also, it doesn’t hurt that both the Mets and Phillies have stumbled out of the gate in the second half by putting up a 1-6 record. I wouldn’t say that the Braves are necessarily the “team to beat”, because Philadelphia has earned that right until they have been taken down, its simply just too early to write them off, but the Braves have overcome too many obstacles this season to not be considered a true contender. Could Bobby Cox have room for one more NL Manager of the year award?

Phillies Nation gives us the latest on the trade talk surrounding his team.

If you haven’t heard by now, Roy Oswalt and the Phillies are at a stalemate, putting a possible deal on hold. I understand why Oswalt is holding off by demanding the team guarantee his option year, but he seriously can’t be fond of the possibility of remaining in Houston. Oswalt will be 33 years old at seasons end, his window of opportunity is closing, but now an opportunity has come knocking with a legitimate contender. You would think Oswalt would jump at the idea of playing for the two-time defending NL champs, finally giving him another shot at that elusive championship.

It looks like the Nate Robertson experiment in Florida has come to an end…that didn’t take long.

Robertson struggled with the Marlins, to say the least. He couldn’t seem to put together quality starts and when he did, he would not be able to duplicate that success in his next outing. This likely means that Chris Volstad will be called up after being demoted following a July 6th start against the Dodgers in which he only lasted 3 innings. Florida was trying to catch lightning in a bottle with Robertson, who showed some glimpses of hope during his tenure with Detroit. I like the idea of calling up the young Volstad, giving him some more major league experience and another opportunity to prove himself.

Like many great pitchers so often do, Stephen Strasburg’s presence on the mound has been enough to make his teammates better.

If you are a Nationals fielder, how can you not get fired up seeing the young phenom on the rubber every fifth day? The games have a greater sense of purpose when Stephen Strasburg pitches, knowing that so many in the baseball world are keeping tabs on the game. Strasburg has been everything and more to the Nationals, while putting him in the discussion for one of the top pitchers in all of baseball. In his first nine career starts, Strasburg has finished with less than seven strikeouts only once, when he struck out five New York Mets. I know it sounds crazy, but could Strasburg be a Cy Young contender this season?