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NL West weekly report: Puig Mania begins while Diamondbacks keep division lead

A recap of what happened in the NL West from May 30th to June 5th; Arizona holds onto its division lead, three teams stay put, and Los Angeles witnesses the start of "Puig Mania".

Stephen Dunn

Nothing big happened this week in the NL West except for a couple of home runs by Yasiel Puig. The Diamondbacks held on to their division lead, the Giants and Rockies switched places in the standings, the Padres barely held onto fourth place, and the Dodgers' disabled list increased despite Hanley Ramirez being activated and Puig's big debut.



Arizona was 4-3 this past week. The Diamondbacks lost once to the Rangers, but then won both series against the Cubs and Cardinals, winning two of three against each team. Once again, Paul Goldschmidt helped carry Arizona to multiple victories, but we'll talk more about that later.

The Diamondbacks started off the week with a 9-5 loss to the Rangers on Thursday, followed by 7-2 loss to the Cubs on Friday. But Arizona bounced back and won back-to-back games in Chicago before traveling to St. Louis to take two of three against the Cardinals (St. Louis' 38 wins are the most in the MLB).


Colorado was also 4-3 this week. Just like the Diamondbacks, the Rockies lost on Thursday (to the Astros) and Friday (to the Dodgers) before winning four of its last five.

Colorado lost to Houston, and then went 4-2 against Los Angeles and Cincinnati, winning both series two games to one. The Rockies averaged more runs per game this past week (5.85) than they surrendered (4.43), but only managed to go 4-3. The Rockies finished off the week with a 12-4 victory over the Reds yesterday that featured this week's best individual performance, but we'll get to that later.


San Francisco was 3-3 this week. The Giants started off with a 5-3 win over the Athletics that helped them avoid a four-game-sweep by their cross-town rivals. San Francisco then lost two of three against St. Louis before splitting a two game series with Toronto.

On Friday, the Giants game against the Cardinals was postponed until Saturday. During the doubleheader Saturday, San Francisco was outscored 15-1, losing both games. Against the Cardinals' starting pitchers, Adam Wainwright and Shelby Miller, the Giants hitters didn't score a single run on 14 hits. Wainwright and Miller totaled 16 shoutout innings, striking out 17, while allowing only a single walk. San Fran's starting pitchers in those games, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner, surrendered 12 runs on 15 hits over 12 innings.


San Diego was 3-4 this week. The Padres started off with a 7-1 loss to the Mariners before winning two straight games against the Blue Jays. San Diego then lost three in a row and was nearly swept by LA before it won the final game of the series, 6-2.

The Padres nearly avoided falling into last place in the standings by beating the Dodgers last night. Over seven games, San Diego allowed fewer than three runs just twice (they held LA to two runs twice). The Padres' offense was once again a little inconsistent. They scored one run twice, four runs three times, six runs once, and seven runs on Tuesday.


Los Angeles was 3-4 this past week. The Dodgers started off with a 3-2 loss to the Angels before losing two of three against the Rockies. Los Angeles then returned to Dodger Stadium and won two of three against the Padres.

This week featured two big storylines, one of which has been a storyline this whole season, injuries. Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, A.J. Ellis, and Chris Capuano were all placed on the DL, it was announced Josh Beckett won't throw for four weeks, and Scott Elbert's rehab was shutdown for Tommy John surgery. The only good injury news was that Hanley Ramirez was activated from the 15-day DL. The other storyline was Yasiel Puig. The outfielder hit two homers and knocked in five in his second game in the majors. In his first game, Puig went 2-4 and ended the game with this fantastic play.


Diamondbacks: One game against the Cardinals, three games against the Giants, three games against the Dodgers

Rockies: Four games against the Padres, two games against the Nationals

Giants: Three games against the Diamondbacks, two games against the Pirates

Padres: Four games against the Rockies, three games against the Braves

Dodgers: Four games against the Braves, three games against the Diamondbacks


Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

Goldschmidt once again carried Arizona to multiple victories. Over the past week, Goldschmidt was 13-32 at the plate, a .406 batting average. The first baseman also hit TWO grand slams this week. Here are Goldschmidt's batting statistics for this past week: .406 batting average, 13 hits, 2 HR (both grand slams), and 13 RBIs. Goldschmidt knocked in four runs twice and at least one run in six of seven games (his only game without an RBI this past week was last Friday against the Cubs).


Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.

As great as Puig's two-homer game was, Gonzalez's three-homer game was better. Colorado's outfielder went 3-5 yesterday with 3 HR and 6 RBI in the Rockies' 12-4 victory over the Reds. Colorado's shortstop Troy Tulowitzki went 5-5 with 2 HR, 3 RBI, and 3 runs scored in the same game.


Is a tie between the Diamondbacks and the Rockies. Both team's went 4-3 and performed similarly in those games. Arizona scored on average more runs per game this week, 6.43, than Colorado, 5.85, but did gave up more runs per game, 5.71, than the Rockies, 4.43. Both team's faced similar opponents (record and performance wise) as well. The Diamondbacks went 4-3 against the Rangers, Cubs, and Cardinals, while the Rockies went 4-3 against the Astros, Dodgers, and Reds.


Giants pitcher Matt Cain:

On Saturday, San Francisco's ace went up against one of the best team's in baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals. Six innings later, Cain was out of the game. The righty gave up seven earned runs on nine hits over six innings. Cain did strike out nine, but giving up seven runs overshadowed his high strikeout total. On April 7th, in his second start of the season, Cain gave up nine runs to the Cardinals on seven hits in 3.2 innings. Cain is now 0-2 with a 14.90 ERA in two starts against St. Louis this season.