NL West weekly report: Dodgers complete journey from worst to first

USA TODAY Sports

A recap of what happened in the NL West from July 18-24: The Dodgers are finally all alone in first and the other four teams are now trying to keep up.

A month ago, the NL West standings showed the Diamondbacks in first and the Dodgers in last. Now, Arizona is in second and Los Angeles is in first.

TEAM RECAPS:

Diamondbacks: Arizona was 2-4 this week. The Diamondbacks lost two of three against the Giants and Cubs and now sit at second place in the division.

Nothing jumps off the page about Arizona this week. Their offense wasn't terrible, averaging 4 runs per game thanks in part to a 10-4 win over Chicago. Their pitching was impressive this week, surrendering on average 3.7 runs per game. That means the Diamondbacks scored on average more runs then they gave up this week despite going 2-4.

Rockies: Colorado was 3-3 this week. The Rockies took two of three against the Cubs to start off the week before losing two of three against the Marlins. Colorado avoided a 2-4 week with a 2-1 win over Miami on 7/24.

The Rockies scored one or two runs in four of their six games this week. Colorado then scored nine and four in the other two games. This shows how inconsistent their offense can be at times and has been all season. For a while, the Rockies looked like contenders and buyers. But now, they might be sellers at the July 31 trade deadline.

Giants: San Francisco was 3-4 this week. The Giants took two of three from Arizona at home before going 1-3 against the Reds during a four game series that included a home and away doubleheader.

San Francisco pitched very well against a tough Arizona offense, holding them to just six runs over three games. But then the Reds came to the Bay, and that was a different story. The Giants dropped the first two games (one being the first in the doubleheader) by a combined score of 20-3 (11-0 and 9-3 respectively). Over the final two games of the series, Cincinnati outscored San Francisco 11-8.

Padres: San Diego was 3-3 this week. The Padres started off the week dropping two of three to the Cardinals. San Diego then traveled to Milwaukee and took two of three from the Ryan Braun-less Brewers.

The Padres' offense was pretty good this week scoring on average 4.2 runs per game. But San Diego wasn't able to win more than they lost because the pitching staff gave up on average 4.4 runs per game. The Padres are in the NL West cellar and have quite an uphill climb if they want to get back in it.

Dodgers: Los Angeles was 6-0 this week. The Dodgers returned from the All-Star break with a bang, as they swept both the Nationals and the Blue Jays on the road. Also, this is a pretty interesting fact about LA's last ten road games...

Los Angeles averaged a RIDICULOUS 7.8 runs per game this week. The Dodgers scored three runs in each of their first two games against the Nationals. In the next four games, LA scored nine, 14, 10, and eight runs, respectively. That means over the last four games Los Angeles has averaged 10.3 runs per game. That's absurd.

WHAT'S IN STORE FOR THESE TEAMS NEXT WEEK?

Diamondbacks: One game against the Cubs, three against the Padres, two against the Rays

Rockies: One game against the Marlins, three against the Brewers, three against the Braves

Giants: Three games against the Cubs, two against the Phillies

Padres: One game against the Brewers, three against the Diamondbacks, three against the Reds

Dodgers: Four games against the Reds, two against the Yankees

OVERALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Dodgers' infielder Mark Ellis. The veteran hit .440 this week with one home run, seven RBI, and three runs scored. In LA's final game of the week on July 24, they forced the game to go into extras after tying the game at 3-3 in the ninth. Ellis was the hero in the tenth when he launched this monster home run. While Ellis only played a significant role in one game this week, he played extremely well throughout the entire week.

BEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE:

Dodgers' catcher A.J. Ellis. The younger Ellis led Los Angeles to a 14-5 win over Toronto on July 22. The catcher went 4-6 with one HR, five RBIs, and three runs scored. Ellis hit a two-run-homer and knocked in his three other RBIs on singles.

OVERALL TEAM OF THE WEEK:

The Los Angeles Dodgers. LA was 6-0 this week and averaged 7.8 runs per game over the entire week, and 10.3 over its final four games. 10.3! That's ridiculous. Here's another tweet to describe the Dodgers' right now:

WORST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK:

Giants' pitcher Tim Lincecum. In his first start since his no-hitter, Lincecum was horrendous. Against the Reds on 7/22, Lincecum gave up eight earned runs on nine hits over 3.2 innings. The former two-time Cy Young Award winner struck out just two batters and gave up three homers. San Francisco lost the game 11-0 and Bronson Arroyo threw a complete game shutout for the Reds.

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