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NL West Report: A familiar ending

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A recap of what happened between September 22-28 in the National League West.

Jeff Gross

Another season has come and gone and it ended the same way 2013 did. Let's take a look at the final week of the 2014 regular season for the NL West.

Team Recap

Diamondbacks (2-4 last week): Arizona was the only team in the division that didn't face other NL West teams in its final week. Instead, the Diamondbacks visited the Twins and lost two of three. Arizona had Thursday off before it hosted St. Louis for its final three games. The two squads split the first two games before the Cardinals took the finale, and the NL Central crown in game 162.

Padres (3-4): San Diego's final week was a roller coaster because its game results went: W, L, W, L, W, L, L. The first three were against the Rockies at home and the final four were against the Giants on the road.

Rockies (1-5): It was a rough final week for a Colorado team that's had a rough injury plagued season. The Rockies lost two of three to the Padres at home before having Thursday off. But Colorado then traveled to Los Angeles and was swept in its final three games of 2014.

Giants (4-3): The team by the bay started off by taking the first game of a three game series with Los Angeles. But the Giants then lost the next two and a chance to win the division. But San Francisco ended on a positive note by taking three of four from San Diego at home to end the season.

Dodgers (5-1): Los Angeles had a fantastic final week. It lost its first game on Monday to the Giants, but it then won two straight to clinch the division at home. The Dodgers then had Thursday off before it swept the Rockies at home to finish off 2014.

What's in store for these team's next week

San Francisco: NL Wild Card game @ Pittsburgh on Wednesday at 5:07 PM PST. If the Giants defeat the Pirates, NLDS Game 1 on Friday @ Washington, NLDS Game 2 on Saturday @ Washington, Sunday off.

Los Angeles: NLDS Game 1 on Friday vs. St. Louis, NLDS Game 2 on Saturday vs. St. Louis, Sunday off.

Season Awards:

Instead of doing the typical weekly awards, divisional awards will be given out instead with a couple extra categories.

Rookie of the Year

Diamondbacks' Outfielder Ender Inciarte

Inciarte was signed by Arizona out of Venezuela in 2008 and finally made his MLB debut on May 2, 2014 at the age of 23. He was a bright spot for the Diamondbacks in a season filled with failures and injuries. His final stat line: 117 games, .280 avg, .321 OBP, .362 SLG, 4 HR, 27 RBI, 25 BB, 53 K, 19-22 SB. What was most impressive to me was his strikeout ratio for a rookie. Inciarte struck out in 53 of 443 plate appearances, which was only 11% of his plate appearances this season. For reference, Joc Pederson struck out in 27% of his plate appearances in AAA this season (149 of 553). Playing mostly centerfield, Inciarte also compiled an outstanding 23.5 UZR/150 rating (18.1 UZR) as an outfielder this season per Fangraphs, recording 10 assists while committing 5 errors in 909 innings in the outfield, which gave him a .982% fielding percentage.

Pitcher of the year

Dodgers' pitcher Clayton Kershaw

This description will be much shorter thanks to Kershaw's ridiculous stat line for 2014: 198.1 innings, 21-3 record, 1.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 239 strikeouts, 31 walks, 6 complete games, 2 shutouts, 1 no-hitter. That's pretty good.

Most Valuable Player

Dodgers' pitcher Clayton Kershaw

The Dodgers were 23-4 in games that Kershaw started. That includes a streak of 13 straight wins in games the lefty started that stretched from June 2nd to August 10th. While many other players such as Adrian Gonzalez, Buster Posey, or even Matt Kemp could make a case for this award, Kershaw's season was to brilliant to pass up.

Hitter of the year

Dodgers' first baseman Adrian Gonzalez

Gonzalez had an under the radar year for the Dodgers' as he lead the MLB with 116 RBIs to go along with 27 homers, hitting .276/.335/.482. Gonzalez's biggest threat for this award was Giants' catcher Buster Posey, who hit .311/.364/.490 with 22 homers and 89 RBI.

Manager of the year

Giants' manager Bruce Bochy

On paper, the Dodgers are much better than the Giants. But Bochy never made it seem like that in 2014. San Francisco at one point had a nine game lead over Los Angeles that quickly turned into a six deficit. Bochy led the Giants back and nearly took led them to a divisional title until they ran into Clayton Kershaw in the final week of the season. He's been the Giants manager since 2007 and should win his first manager of the year of the award since he was hired by the Giants. Bochy previously won in 1996 when he was in San Diego.

Individual performance

Clayton Kershaw's No-Hitter

I could write a paragraph on Kershaw's masterpiece, but I think Eric wrote enough about that back in June. Give it a read again.