Earlier today, we published the revised goals for each team in the AL East, as they play out the rest of the regular season. As I said then, while winning the World Series is a laudable goal, it simply isn't a realistic one for every team every year, especially since 29 of them are going to fall short. So, given where they are now, here are some realistic and revised goals for the teams in the National League East:
Current record: 54-71
A largely forgettable year in Atlanta has actually yielded some interesting players that the Braves need to evaluate going forward.
New goal: It'd be nice if the Braves could finish out strong, playing above .500 the rest of the way to avoid their worst record since the 1990 team that lost 97 games.
Can feel ok about settling for: In excess of 90 losses, as long as they figure out what they have in Hector Olivera, Arodys Vizcaino, Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, and Edwin Jackson, relief pitcher.
Current record: 50-75
Well, let's see. They fired their manager and installed their GM in the spot, and got worse. Nobody saw that coming, of course. They've alienated one of their best young players in Marcell Ozuna by refusing to call him up, and insulted their fans' intelligence again while tied for the worst record in baseball.
New goal: Try not to embarrass themselves again for six more weeks.*
Can feel ok about settling for: Embarrassing themselves only a couple of times over the next six weeks.
*Not all goals have to be realistic.
New York Mets
Current record: 68-56, leading NL East
What a turnaround for the Mets, who have won 15 of 21 games in August and put a stranglehold on the NL East while the Nationals have floundered. And now David Wright is back and hitting bombs too. With their deep stable of pitching, the Mets will be a team to watch in October.
New goal: Secure the division title while keeping their stable of young starters fresh and healthy.
Can feel ok about settling for: At this point, it's the division title or bust for the Mets. That feels super weird to write.
Current record: 50-75
A dreadful first half doomed the Phillies to their worst record of the 21st century, but since July 1, the Phillies are actually above .500 while focusing on playing their young talent and purging as many of the old guard as they can. Now they only have one year left of Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz before they're free or the Amara-era excesses.
New goal: It will be damn near impossible for them to hover around .500 for the rest of the way, but why not aim high?
Can feel ok about settling for: Just trying hard and giving Odubel Herrera, Cesar Hernandez, and Freddy Galvis more reps, and hoping to get Maikel Franco back before the end of the year.
Current record: 62-61, 5.5 games back in the NL East
What a crushing, awful performance by the Nationals in the second half! On July 4, after 81 games, they led the NL East by 4.5. Since then, they've gone 17-25. Given the amount of talent on the roster and the money spent, not making the postseason would be a huge disappointment.
New goal: Win the NL East.
Can feel ok about settling for: Nope. There's no fallback option here. Denard Span, Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond, and Doug Fister will all be free agents after this season. Their window looks like it might be closing and anything short of a deep postseason run will be a huge disappointment.
Ok, I'll be back tomorrow with the AL and NL Centrals.