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NL East Update: The one where the Phillies find a “Werth-y” replacement

The Philadelphia Phillies got their right-handed power bat by acquiring Hunter Pence from the Astros in a deal that sends four prospects to Houston.

The Phillies essentially found their replacement for Jayson Werth in right field as Domonic Brown and Ben Francisco had been splitting time in the position prior to the move. The Phillies were targeting Carlos Beltran and Pence for most of the season, and after Beltran was dealt to San Francisco, they had no choice but to get Pence at any cost. Ultimatly, Pence was a better fit in Philadelphia because he is younger and will be under team control for the next couple seasons. That can’t be said for Beltran who is older, more injury prone, and will likely be a two-month rental for the Giants. Once again, great move by Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.

The losers of the trade deadline thus far are the Atlanta Braves, who lost out on the Beltran/Pence sweepstakes and are desperatly in need of an outfielder. Where do they go from here?

The Braves are going to have to be creative and open-minded. They need to address their outfield situation as Nate McLouth and Jordan Schafer are currently on the disabled list. There are still worthy candidates availible like B.J. Upton, Carlos Quentin, Ryan Ludwick and ex-Nat Josh Willingham. Those weren’t the sexy names they were hoping for but if they can somehow acquire any of those guys I don’t think it would be the end of the world.

The war of words between Hanley Ramirez and “Mr. Marlin” aka Jeff Conine has seemingly come to an end…for the moment at least.

There’s something about the Florida Marlins that has always been…well, a little bit unusual. And this story is no exception. As an employee of the team, Conine was out of line for making the critical comments of Ramirez over the radio, but Ramirez should have taken the high road instead of making a rebuttal. I don’t see how Ramirez will ever be the next Mr. Marlin since I get the feeling the team will try to get rid of him sooner rather than later.

The New York Mets have won five straight, and three straight post-Beltran as their “offense continues to roll.”

If you haven’t noticed, the Mets are a very streaky team. One day they look like a murderers row and the next they can look completely lifeless. The loss of Carlos Beltran is big, but the return of David Wright and the emergence of Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda have carried this team to a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds and a high scoring game against the Nationals. The Mets are creeping up the wild-card standings and are only 6.5 games out, but consistency is the only way you can be successful in this league, and this team has yet to show any of that.

Chien-Ming Wang made his Nationals debut last night in a game against the Mets. To say he looked rusty would be an understatement.

In the top of the first, the Mets were putting on a hitting clinic which I didn’t think Wang would ever get out of. The fact that he made it through 4 innings was an accomplishment in itself. It actually got to the point where I felt really bad for Wang. He waited two long years to finally make it back to the big leagues and the game seemed to immediately blow up in his face. You hate to see situations like that. It’d be unfair to judge Wang after just one start where I’m sure he was a nervous wreck. Hopefully he can put it together in his next start against the Braves.

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