Realistically, though, no one in the NL West had a great week this week. Over the past ten games, only the Giants are above .500, and they're still sitting in last place. Has the NL West achieved its final form?
No, of course not, it's April. Plenty of squabbling over the standings yet to come.
The Dodgers had an okay stretch of games, going 4-3 for the week, including what is only their second loss in Dodgers Stadium so far this year, moving them to 13-8 on the season. Their 10-2 home record in April is the second best in baseball, only behind the undefeated 10-0 that the Mets have put up so far. It was all division rivals for LA, dropping the last game of their series in San Francisco in extra innings, before heading down to San Diego for three games. Los Angeles came out of the gates strong, taking the first two games, including an 11-8 slug fest on Saturday where dueling ex-DBacks were unimpressive, Brandon McCarthy's 6 earned runs in 5 innings earning him the win over Ian Kennedy's 8 earned runs in 4.1. Heading back home to LA, the Dodgers met up against the Giants again, taking two games out of three, and only dropping one to Madison Bumgarner's excellent outing.
It wasn't all sunshine and lollipops, though. Brandon McCarthy's win against the Padres will be his last one of the season, as he was pulled with elbow tightness after giving up a home run to another former DBack, Justin Upton. Reports came back that he had a torn UCL, and he is now out for the season, with Tommy John surgery on the horizon. McCarthy's response on Twitter was pretty great, though:
to be fair, 31 years of use is a lot to ask for from a ligament— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) April 27, 2015
McCarthy wasn't the only injury for the Dodgers, either, with Yasiel Puig getting put on the 15 day DL with a hamstring injury, and Carl Crawford following with a torn oblique. Suddenly, the Dodgers outfield isn't quite as deep as it looked before.
The Dodgers will host the DBacks for three games, starting tomorrow, before heading to the Badger State for four games against the anemic Brewers.
The Rockies week was pretty mixed, going 3-3 with a game cancelled to rain in order to manage an exactly .500 week since we last spoke. They bid farewell to the Padres a 2-1 win before welcoming the Giants into Denver, winning Friday and losing Saturday. Sunday's game was a wash, with rains postponing it- pause for my jealous sigh- and then the Rockies boarded a plane for Phoenix. They took the first game, 5-4, but the slumbering DBacks offense finally woke up after that lethargic series against the Pirates, beating the Rockies in the next two games with a combined score of 21-5.
Colorado also ran into some injury problems of their own, with Adam Ottavino taking a trip to the DL not long after being deemed the Rockies new closer. Oh, and he was originally sent there for a triceps injury, and then they found out he's got elbow problems, too. Whoops. Meanwhile, their starting pitching continues to stumble through- Kyle Kendrick isn't living up to the expectations the Rockies had for him, holding an ERA over 8 and having allowed the most hits and earned runs of any pitcher in the National League. I don't care if you think the Rockies have learned to hit outside Coors Field, that's a hard number to overcome- and it gets more difficult to shake as "early season jitters" as we head into May.
Colorado continues their NL West swing (still) by going to San Diego for three games before heading home to face the DBacks for three.
San Diego Padres
Warning: This paragraph below contains graphic depictions of the Padres getting beaten up by their opponents.
San Diego's week was... ugly, to say the least. They dropped their final game against the Rockies before heading home for three against the Dodgers, where they were beaten 1-2, including the aforementioned 11-8 slugfest. They did manage to scrap out the final win against the Dodgers, beating them 3-1 to break a four game losing streak and hopefully build some momentum for the Astros to visit. However, those hopes were dashed. No, actually, I'd say they fell off a building, were run over by a car, flattened by a steamroller, and then trampled by a marching band. To put it simply, the Padres were routed by Houston, swept with a combined score of 30-9 over three games .The worst came Tuesday, when Houston won a 14-3 laugher, but none of the final scores were close.
San Diego can at least take a little bit of solace in their offensive resurgence. After an abysmal performance at the plate last year, hitting only .226 as a team, they've picked up the bats this year, and currently lead the National League in runs scored with a fairly impressive 105. On the other, more disappointing hand, the only team that's given up more runs than San Diego in the National League is the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Padres still have a negative run differential. That seems like it could catch up with them.
The Padres face the Rockies in San Diego for three as they fight to regain any dignity, and then head up the coast to play three against the Giants.
San Francisco Giants
Speak of the Giants, they continue to hold on to their spot in the basement of the division, scraping together a 3-3 record on the week. All of their outings were against other NL West opponents this week, salvaging a win against the Dodgers in San Francisco before heading to Denver for a loss, a win, and a postponement. A trip to Los Angeles pitted them against the Dodgers again, and it was only thanks to Madison Bumgarner outpitching Clayton Kershaw that the Giants weren't swept. Pretty rough.
What's the source of the Giants current struggles? To start off with, offense. You can't win many games if you don't score many runs, obviously, and the Giants have only brought in 66 runs this season, an average of 3 per game. To put that into perspective, the Diamondbacks scored 26 runs in the past three games. Their pitching hasn't been bad, but there's just a limit to how much you can do when you're giving opposing pitchers a sub-3 ERA.
Other than that, the main interesting news is apparently Madison Bumgarner deciding he doesn't have enough rivalries in the league, so he'll go after Max Scherzer and Alex Guerrero. Someone get this guy a back massage and a cup of tea or something, okay?
The start of May sends the Giants back to San Francisco for a homestand to start things off, with southern California teams coming to visit, as a three game set against the Angels is followed by three games against the Padres.