NL West Rundown

The MLB season is just about three weeks in, although it may feel like two months with all that is happening in the National League West. Since the Dodgers (13-6) took over firstplace after a full week into the season, they haven’t looked back. As they continue to try and stay on top of the division with a 3.5 game lead, we will fill you in on how the other teams in the NL West have panned out so far.

Colorado Rockies (9-9)
The Colorado Rockies started off cold this season, yet suddenly they find themselves back at the .500 mark and in second place in the division. Before their two-game series split in a doubleheader with the Pirates, they had won three consecutive series against the Diamondbacks, Padres, and Brewers.

Reason to be worried (as a Dodger fan): The Rockies could be a threat in the NL West all year long, with a lineup featuring superstars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.

Reason to be optimistic (as a Dodger fan): This team has yet to establish a pitcher in their rotation who could be labeled as an ace. At 49 years old Jamie Moyer has the lowest ERA (2.28) in the rotation, which is impressive, but his days as an ace are long behind him. The next lowest ERA by a pitcher in the Rockies rotation is a miserable 4.76, belonging to Juan Nicasio.

Biggest contributor: Michael Cuddyer, hitting .303 with a team-leading 11 RBI.

Biggest disappointment: Carlos Gonzalez, hitting just .246 with 9 RBI in 15 games.

Biggest surprise: Jamie Moyer is 1-2 with a team-leading 2.28 ERA in four starts.

San Francisco Giants (9-9)
The Giants are currently tied for second in the NL West, but it seems a lot worse than that for their fans. Everyone in San Francisco is “freaked” out about their two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, who is off to the worst start of his career. They also have lost their All Star closer Brian Wilson for the season due to Tommy John surgery. Could it get any worse? They are on the verge of perhaps getting swept in a three-game series by the Cincinnati Reds.

Reason to be worried (as a Dodger fan): Even with Tim Lincecum struggling at the moment, this team has one of the deepest starting rotations in all of baseball.

Reason to be optimistic (as a Dodger fan): Besides a guy named Buster and another guy nicknamed “The Panda”, this Giants team doesn’t have much to offer on offense if these guys don’t hit. By the way, I was referring to Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, not the names of my niece’s Beanie Babies.

Biggest contributor: Pablo Sandoval, hitting .329 with a team leading 13 RBIs.

Biggest disappointment: Tim Lincecum, the two-time Cy Young Award winner is off to a horrendous start with a 1-2 record and 8.20 ERA.

Biggest surprise: Barry Zito in four starts has a 1-0 record and leads the Giants starting rotation with a 1.67 ERA.

Arizona Diamondbacks (9-10)
After a great start to the season, the Diamondbacks have been hit with their first rough stretch of their schedule. They lost center fielder Chris Young to the 15-day DL. He leads the team in batting average (.410), RBIs (13), and home runs (5). Starting pitcher Daniel Hudson joined him on the 15-day DL, further making the case that the D’Backs have been bitten by the injury bug. The team is (3-7) in their last ten games and looks to rebound with a four-game series with the Marlins over the weekend.

Reason to be worried (as a Dodger fan): You have to be worried about the defending NL West Champions, they are young, talented, determined to repeat, and are managed by the great Kirk Gibson.

Reason to be optimistic (as a Dodger fan): Other than Ian Kennedy who won 20 games last year and the addition of Trevor Cahill, the back end of their rotation has been roughed up so far. For example Josh Collmenter and Daniel Hudson combine for a gruesome 15.82 ERA, not what you expect from any part of a rotation.

Biggest contributor: Jason Kubel, who with Young out the lineup has picked up the slack (somewhat), hitting .288 with 9 RBIs.

Biggest disappointment: Justin Upton, hitting just .240 with a home run and three RBI.

Biggest surprise: Joe Saunders, in three starts has a 1-1 record with a 1.29 ERA.

San Diego Padres (5-14)
It has to be tough for Padres fans to watch their team lose a lot more games than they win. They haven’t won a series yet this season, although they did manage to get a split in a four-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s possible that this team could end up with the worst record in the major leagues by the end of season, giving the Padres something new to cheer for: the first pick in next June’s amateur draft.

Reason to be worried (as a Dodger fan): I know this might be hard to do but people shouldn’t forget that this is an MLB team. They have major league talent on their roster, which will find ways to grind out wins here and there as the season goes on.

Reason to be optimistic (as a Dodger fan): The Dodgers hold a 19-6 record against the Padres since last season.

Biggest contributor: Chase Headley leads the team in all categories, home runs (4), RBIs (13), and batting average (.288).

Biggest disappointment: Yonder Alonso, who they traded for in the off-season. Thoughts that he could be the team’s franchise player haven’t panned out well, as he’s hitting .217 with 3 RBI.

Biggest surprise: Cory Luebke has a 2-1 record in 4 starts with 2.52 ERA.

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