The Cubs traded Matt Garza on Monday to the Rangers so he didn't make his scheduled start for Chicago against the Diamondbacks. Home runs by old friend Dioner Navarro and center fielder Junior Lake, playing in just his fourth major league game, helped the Cubs to a 4-2 win over Arizona.
The Dodgers are now in first place in the National League West for the first time since April 2.
Exactly one month ago, on June 22 the Dodgers beat the Padres 6-1 in San Diego. But unfortunately for the Dodgers, Arizona also won and remained 9½ games ahead of Los Angeles. Since then the Dodgers are 20-5 (21-5 counting that June 22 win), while the Diamondbacks are 10-15.
It has been, to put it mildly, a remarkable run by the Dodgers to make up so much ground so quickly.
The Dodgers are likely the favorites to win the National League West, now a half-game up with 64 games to play, just as they were with 162 games to play before the season, with their MLB record payroll north of $230 million. But by no means is this a guarantee of future success, no matter how well the Dodgers are playing at this moment.
The best are able to take things in stride, never getting too high when things are great and never getting too low when things are bad. There are few things more foolish than drawing conclusions far too early, especially when influenced by the daily grind of the seven-month emotional roller coaster that is the baseball season.
It can lead a lesser man to think he knows things, when he really knows nothing. On May 19 after the Dodgers were swept in Atlanta, with each loss coming after a late lead, some idiot wrote this:
The team is eight games under .500 and has been outscored by nearly a run per game. Whether the team gets rid of Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire, or anyone else, it won't really matter. They will play better for a while and make a run, but this terrible start has dug too deep a hole for it to ultimately matter.
Stick a fork in the 2013 Dodgers. They are dead.
The Dodgers are anything but dead. Crow never tasted so good.