NL West Report: Giants, Dodgers battle for division lead, Arizona stumbles

Christian Petersen

The Dodgers and Giants are in the midst of a series that doubles as a battle for the division lead. Meanwhile, Arizona has had a rough week.

In a week that featured several intra-division battles, no one teams has been able to jump out to a substantial lead in the NL West. In fact, the top four teams are all within 3.5 games of each other. As for that fifth team, the Diamondbacks have lost six straight and trail the rest of the division by four games. Here's how the week went for each team:

Arizona Diamondbacks (4-14, 7.5 GB)

The Week that Was: After winning a pair of games in San Francisco, the Diamondbacks went 0-6 on their six-game homestand, being swept at the hands of the Dodgers and Mets. Pitching was the issue for Arizona in their six straight losses, having given up a total of 43 runs during their losing streak.

The Week to Come: Things do not get any easier for Arizona this week, as they embark on a 10-game road trip starting Friday. Their first two stops are in Los Angeles to face the Dodgers and Chicago for a four-game set against the Cubs.

Disabled List: OF Cody Ross (15-day, hip), LHP Matt Reynolds (15-day, torn UCL), RHP Daniel Hudson (15-day, torn UCL), RHP David Hernandez (60-day, torn UCL), LHP Patrick Corbin (60-day, torn UCL)

By the Numbers: 7.63
That number represents the Diamondbacks' starting pitchers ERA in the first 18 games of 2014, the worst in baseball by more than two full runs. By comparison, the 2012 Rockies' starting pitchers posted an ERA of 5.41. Wade Miley is the only Arizona starter with an ERA below, 6.75, checking in with a 5.04 ERA in four starts this season.

Los Angeles Dodgers (9-6, 1 GB)

The Week that Was: It has been a bit of a roller coaster week for the Dodgers. They dropped their series finale against Detroit before traveling to Arizona and sweeping three games from the Diamondbacks, thanks in part to a gem from Hyun-Jin Ryu, and moving on to San Francisco, where they have dropped a pair of one-run games to the Giants.

The Week to Come: The Dodgers will look to salvage a game in San Francisco before returning to Dodger Stadium for a 10-game homestand that sees them take on the Diamondbacks and Phillies.

Disabled List: RHP Chad Billingsley (15-day, torn UCL), LHP Scott Elbert (60-day, torn UCL), C A.J. Ellis (15-day, knee), LHP Clayton Kershaw (15-day, back)

By the Numbers: .294
After posting a .383 BABIP in 382 at bats in 2013, Yasiel Puig's BABIP early in 2014 sits at .294, nearly 100 points lower. That, combined with a line drive rate that has dropped by over four percent, explains why Puig's OPS is down more than 150 points from last year despite similar walk and strikeout rates.

San Diego Padres (7-8, 3 GB)

The Week that Was: The Padres have won five of their last seven games, thanks mostly to their pitching, which as allowed just 17 runs in that stretch. They split a doubleheader in Cleveland before returning home to take two of three from both the Tigers and Rockies.

The Week to Come: San Diego has one more game remaining with the Rockies before welcoming the Giants to Petco Park for three and then traveling to Milwaukee to take on the Brewers.

Disabled List: RHP Josh Johnson (15-day, forearm), RHP Casey Kelly (15-day, torn UCL), LHP Cory Luebke (60-day, torn UCL), OF Cameron Maybin (15-day, biceps), OF Carlos Quentin (15-day, knee), RHP Joe Wieland (15-day, elbow)

By the Numbers: 1.04
Going back to last season, Padres ace Andrew Cashner has posted a minuscule 1.04 ERA in 52 innings in his last seven starts, walking nine and striking out 48. Going back to the 2013 All-Star Break, Cashner has a 1.90 ERA in 15 starts and 104 innings with 27 walks and 88 strike outs.

San Francisco Giants (10-5, 0 GB)

The Week that Was: The Giants dropped a pair to the Diamondbacks, took two of three from the Rockies and won a pair of games against the Dodgers, all at AT&T Park, to maintain their NL West lead. San Francisco has received offense from unexpected sources this week, with Brandon Crawford and Madison Bumgarner tied for the team lead in both home runs and RBI.

The Week to Come: The Giants wrap their series and homestand with the Dodgers before a six-game road trip that takes them to division rivals San Diego and Colorado.

Disabled List: 2B Marco Scutaro (15-day, back)

By the Numbers: 6
The last six games for the Giants have been of the one-run variety, with San Francisco having won four of them. The six straight one-run contests is still five shy of the MLB record for consecutive one-run games, but the Giants at this point have played more one-run affairs than not in 2014.

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