Around the West: Still on top, But for How Long?

This was one of the worst weeks of the season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, despite still holding the best record in baseball at 33-21. It was supposed to be a big week for fans because of the return of Matt Kemp from the DL. Unfortunately, Kemp only played 10 innings before re-injuring his hamstring and is now back on the DL for a minimum of four weeks.

The Dodgers were then swept in a four-game series at home against the Milwaukee Brewers. It got worse this past weekend when they dropped two-of-three games in Colorado against the Rockies. Still, they sit atop the National League West at the moment but the San Francisco Giants are now just three games back in the division.

San Francisco Giants – 30-24 The Giants couldn’t have picked a better time to start playing the best baseball of their season, all while the Dodgers struggle. They started the month of June by sweeping the Chicago Cubs over the weekend. The biggest reason for the Giants success has to go to Melky Cabrera who they acquired in the offseason. The entire city of San Francisco has gone bananas over this guy, creating Melky Mania.

Reason to be worried (as a Dodger Fan): They’re playing the best baseball of the season at the moment while the Dodgers are playing the complete opposite. Also the Giants pitching is ranked third in all of baseball in team ERA, (3.27).

Reason to be optimistic (as a Dodger Fan): It’s hard to believe the Giants offense will be hitting this well for the majority of the season.

Biggest contributor: Buster Posey, hitting .295 with a team leading six home runs and 29 RBIs.

Biggest disappointment: Brandon Belt, hitting .230 with zero home runs and 14 RBIs.

Biggest surprise: Melky Cabrera, hitting a team leading .371 with four home runs and 27 RBIs.

Arizona Diamondbacks – 25-29 The Diamondbacks haven’t been able to put anything together, the way they did last season when they won this division. They took two of three games from the San Diego Padres over the weekend. Manager Kirk Gibson had a closed-door meeting on Saturday with star player Justin Upton to give him the day off. Upton has been the main reason for the Diamondbacks struggles, hitting just .249 with five home runs and 20 RBIs.

Reason to be worried (as a Dodger Fan): If Justin Upton returns to his 2011 form, when he hit .289 with 31 home runs and 88 RBIs, the defending National League Champions will be right back in the division race.

Reason to be optimistic (as a Dodger Fan): If they continue to play how they’ve played so far this season, they could fall out of this division quickly.

Biggest contributor: Jason Kubel, hitting .285 with four home runs and is tied for the team lead with 24 RBIs.

Biggest disappointment: Ian Kennedy, 21 game winner last year, has a 4-5 record with a 4.26 ERA.

Biggest surprise: Wade Miley has a 6-2 record with a 2.72 ERA.

Colorado Rockies – 23-30 The Rockies just beat the Dodgers twice in a three-game series over the weekend. The Rockies are without their superstar Troy Tulowitzki, who is on the 15-day DL with a left groin strain. While he hasn’t been healthy all year, their other star, Carlos Gonzalez has been playing at a very high level throughout the season.

Reason to be worried (as a Dodger Fan): Carlos Gonzalez has beaten the Dodgers on his own this year a few times, just thinking about a healthy Troy Tulowitzki and this Carlos Gonzalez scares me.

Reason to be optimistic (as a Dodger Fan): Rockies pitching is ranked last in the National League in team ERA, (5.07).

Biggest contributor: Carlos Gonzalez, hitting .345 with a team leading 14 home runs and 45 RBIs.

Biggest disappointment: Ramon Hernandez, hitting .215 with four home runs and 15 RBIs. ‘ Biggest surprise: Rafael Betancourt, in 20.0 innings pitched, he has 10 saves in 11 opportunities with a 1-1 record and 2.25 ERA.

San Diego Padres – 18-37 The Padres have the worst record in all of baseball with 37 losses on the season. They recently lost two of three games from the Diamondbacks over the weekend. The last time this team won a series was against the Colorado Rockies in the second week of May. Things don’t look like they are going to get much better for the Padres anytime soon. Although they did get a little bit of a boost with Carlos Quentin coming off of the DL to play for the first time this season.

Reason to be worried (as a Dodger Fan): Really? Can someone please help me out with this one?

Reason to be optimistic (as a Dodger fan): They have the third worst team batting average in baseball, (.224).

Biggest contributor: Chase Headley, hitting .253 with seven home runs and 25 RBIs.

Biggest disappointment: Cameron Maybin, hitting .223 with one home run and 16 RBIs.

Biggest surprise: Carlos Quentin in just 5 games is hitting .474 with three home runs and seven RBIs.


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