Mike Rushton breaks down the NL East right here.
By the way New York's Johan Santana has been named the NL's Pitcher of the Month.
Here is the team release:
JOHAN SANTANA NAMED NL PITCHER OF THE MONTH FOR APRIL
FLUSHING, N.Y., May 5, 2009 – Johan Santana has been named the National League Pitcher of the Month for April, 2009 after the lefthander went 3-1 with a NL-best 1.10 ERA in five starts. Over 32.2 innings, the 30-year-old lefthander allowed 22 hits, six runs, four earned and nine walks, while striking out 44. He surrendered two runs or fewer in all five of his starts.
This marks Santana’s second straight monthly honor—he won for September, 2008—and his eighth overall. He was named AL Pitcher of the Month six times while with the Twins (August, 2003; July, 2004; August, 2004; September, 2004; June, 2006; September, 2006).
The Tover Merida, Venezuela native beat the Reds, 2-1, on Opening Day in Cincinnati, and then struck out 13, a personal-best while with the Mets, over 7.0 innings in a 2-1 loss at Florida on April 12th. Santana beat Milwaukee and Washington in consecutive starts on April 18th and April 24th, combining to strike out 13 and surrender just one run. In his final start of the month on April 29th, he received a no-decision at home against Florida, despite limiting the Marlins to five hits and two runs over 7.0 innings.
Santana did not allow a home run until his fourth start on April 24th against Washington, a streak of 60.0 innings that dated back to September 7, 2008 vs. Philadelphia and the second longest such streak of his career (65.0 innings spanning 2004-05 seasons).
After his start on April 24th, Santana had a 0.70 ERA and 37 strikeouts, marking just the fourth time in history that a pitcher had an ERA under 0.75 and 36 or more strikeouts in their first four starts of the season. Fernando Valenzuela (0.25 ERA, 36 strikeouts) accomplished the feat for the 1981 Dodgers and Tom Cheney (0.25 ERA, 38 strikeouts) did it in 1963 with the Senators. The Royals’ Zack Grienke (0.00 ERA, 36 strikeouts) also did it this season.