A month ago very few people would imagine the standings the way they are right now. But due to the poor play of the Giants and Padres, the average play of the Diamondbacks and Rockies, and the impressive play of the Dodgers, the standings are very different than they were on June 11th. Let's take a look at what happened specifically this week in the NL West.
Diamondbacks: Arizona was 4-3 this week. The Diamondbacks started off the week with a win over over the Mets on the road. Then, they came home to sweep the Rockies and take a 4.5 game lead in the division. But that didn't last long as they ended the week on a bad note when they were swept by the Dodgers at home.
Arizona's offense was fantastic the first four games of the week. They scored 5 runs twice, 6 runs once, and 11 runs once. But then when Los Angeles came to town it was a different story. The Dbacks lost each of the first two games 6-1 before dropping the final game 7-5 in 14 innings after Heath Bell blew a 5-4 lead in the ninth.
Rockies: Colorado was 3-4 this week. The Rockies started off the week with a win over the Dodgers at home before traveling to Arizona where they were swept. Colorado then flew to San Diego and took two of three from the Padres.
The Rockies offense and pitching was horrible against the Diamondbacks. They scored two runs over the entire series (zero once and one twice) while giving up 5 runs in the first game, 11 in the second, and 6 in the first. That accounts for a run differential of +20. That's not good if you're playing the first place team and have a chance to gain a couple games in the standings.
Giants: San Francisco was 1-5 this week. The Giants' game against the Reds last Thursday was postponed due to weather. After wasting a day in Cincinnati waiting for the game to eventually be postponed, SF traveled home and lost two of three to Los Angeles. The Giants then were swept at home by the Mets for the first time since 1994.
San Francisco keeps tumbling downhill. The Giants are 1-8 this month and 11-25 since June 1st. SF's offense might be the reason why. The team has scored on average 2.3 runs per game this month while the pitching staff surrenders on average 5.6 runs per game.
Padres: San Diego was 1-6 this week. The Padres lost their first game of the week to the Red Sox before getting swept by the Nationals on the road. San Diego then went home and lost two of three to the Rockies, but did manage to end its 10 game losing streak.
On June 15, the Padres were at .500 and three games back in the division with a solid chance to enter the All-Star break in first. But since that point, San Diego has gone 7-17 and 2-11 over the past two weeks. This last week however, was the worst over the last three and a half weeks. The Padres couldn't seem to score enough runs because the pitching staff gave up nearly 4.5 runs per game.
Dodgers: Los Angeles was 5-2 this week. The Dodgers started off the week with a 9-5 loss to the Rockies. But that loss didn't seem to phase them as they then went on win a series in San Francisco and sweep Arizona on the road.
LA's offense was once again incredible this week as they averaged a solid 5.7 runs per game. The pitching was almost as good, giving up an average of 3.3 runs per game. The Dodgers starters held the Giants and Diamondbacks to a single run in three straight games while the offense scored a combined 16 runs over those same three.
WHAT'S IN STORE FOR THESE TEAMS NEXT WEEK?
Diamondbacks: Four against the Brewers, All-Star Break
Rockies: Four against the Dodgers, All-Star Break
Giants: Four against the Padres, All-Star Break
Padres: Four against the Giants, All-Star Break
Dodgers: Four against the Rockies, All-Star Break
OVERALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Dodgers' infielder Hanley Ramirez (for the second week in a row). Ramirez had a lower batting average (.400) this week than Andre Ethier (.433) and Paul Goldschmidt (.414), but he played better when it truly mattered. The infielder hit the eventual game winning homer against Arizona on Wednesday to finish this week with a line of 1 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R, 2 2B, and 2 3B. Ramirez and A.J. Pollock were the only players in the National League to hit two triples this week.
BEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE:
Dodgers' pitcher Zack Greinke. The righty pitched once this past week and had his best start in a while when he put up this line against the Diamondbacks: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO. Greinke was incredible that night and helped the Dodgers move up in the standings. The pitcher also went 3-3 at the plate and scored a run.
OVERALL TEAM OF THE WEEK:
The Los Angeles Dodgers (for the third week in a row). LA was an NL West best 5-2 this week while winning two series against division rivals, including the team that is now just 1.5 games ahead of them in the standings. The Dodgers were considered by many to be way out of the division race on June 22nd when they were 9.5 games back and 9 games under .500. After this impressive week, Los Angeles is now 1.5 games back and back at .500.
WORST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK:
Giants' pitcher Matt Cain only gave up three runs on Monday. But those three runs were enough to convince his coaches to pull him from the game after only two outs in the first inning. Cain's final line was: ⅔ IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO, and 36 pitches. Cain, who had a 2.79 ERA last season, now has a 5.06 ERA this season.