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NL East Update: The one where Pagan/Desmond regress and Vazquez continues to impress

Angel Pagan of the New York Mets has followed up his impressive 2010 campaign with a dud in 2011, where do the Mets go from here?

OK, calling it a dud may be an over exaggeration but he certainly didn’t live up the expectations several people had set for him. Pagan is a great talent to have on a team, but I feel as though he is better suited as a situational player coming off the bench. It wouldn’t be terrible if he won the starting job in center field for next year by default, who knows, maybe he can turn things around.

Javier Vazquez, who started the season out stinking it up for the Florida Marlins, has quietly become the Marlins best starter in the second half.

I don’t know why the article keeps mentioning that this will be Vazquez’s final year, maybe it will, but anybody whose been that consistent posting double digits in wins can certainly help out any ball club in 2012. I’ve always liked Vazquez as a pitcher because you know exactly what you’re going to get from him. Despite his “off-year” in New York and a disastrous first half in Florida, he has continued to put up close to the same numbers he always has, so why do people continue to bash him?

All of a sudden, things aren’t looking so good for the Atlanta Braves, who are seeing their Wild Card lead shrink daily.

The St. Louis Cardinals are storming up the Wild Card Standings and are just 4.5 games behind Atlanta as of Tuesday. As is the case in any sport, its common that the hottest teams heading into the post-season are the ones that have the most success, and this could spell disaster for the Braves, if they qualify that is. I too was surprised by the Cardinals lackluster season, but right on cue Tony LaRussa has his team breathing down the Braves neck.

Joe McDonald tells us why a few losses for the Philadelphia Phillies wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.

I see the point McDonald is trying to make, but c’mon, no one on that team is going to be “complacent” going into the post-season. The players know what’s at stake, they have a chance to be something very special. This team has been dominant since 2008 and they don’t want to look back on this era and say that they only earned one title.

Ian Desmond has taken a step back this year. How will the Washington Nationals address shortstop this winter?

I still don’t know what to make of Desmond. As much as I want to convince myself that this is the type of player he will always be, another part of me says that he will improve. One things for sure, Jose Reyes is NOT the answer for the Nats. Washington needs to address several other positions before shelling out the cash for a position they already have filled with a young player. I’d give Desmond one more year and see how he performs.