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Rating the NL West: Pitching, part one

While reading up on Danny Ardoin's pursuit to make his life the subject of one of those "Don't give up on your dreams" tear-jerkers at the local cineplex or Lifetime movie of the week, I started thinking I could start to make some sort of comparitive preview. Then I looked and saw Bad Altitude going team by team and I thought: "Dang, I wish I had a reference boy who would go around and look up a bunch of stuff for me," but I don't, so I have to make up my stuff as I go along.

"Oh Reference Boy, fetch me that water..."


Reference Boy?

Oh wait, sorry, I forgot, we're talking about NL West pitching. Alright, I'll start off by ranking each of the teams' Big Three. You know, their unholy trinities that were any of these sorry bunch to get to the playoffs, they would sort of have to rely on.

1. San Francisco

Jason Schmidt
Matt Morris
Matt Cain

Reference Boy, get me a number for San Francisco that makes it look like I'm justified putting them here, please. Schmidt is one of the two best pitchers in the division, Matt Morris was a worthwhile acquisition and steady performer with St Louis. Even though Cain is just a Spring chicken he's got filthy stuff and the man parts to use it. The drawbacks? Cain should still have some learning to do, and Morris and Schmidt are injury prone. That said, as long as they're healthy, nobody else in the division matches up that well.

2. Los Angeles

Brad Penny
Derek Lowe
Odalis Perez

Why LA second? Penny, Lowe and Perez are all overrated or underachievers or whatever tag you want to use, but have you seen the rest of the division? Our own top three might be better, but Cook and Francis are still largely unproven or unknown commodities and JJ's awful starts keep him out of the picture. San Diego and Arizona drop precipitously after their top guns. I picked the Dodgers mostly by default, come on, Reference Boy, back me up on this, use a different stat if you have to.

3. Colorado

Aaron Cook
Jason Jennings
Jeff Francis

Have the past two partial seasons from Aaron Cook just been a tease? Or are they something more legit? I, like most Rockies fans, will side with legit, but I don't want it to come back and bite me again this time. Cook will be overlooked because he lacks a certain "K"uality the statistical analysis community looks for, but he's been remarkably consistent with his sinker. I'm taking a flyer on him and Francis being pretty solid this year, JJ I still can't figure out. Reference Boy, see if you could put this c-spot on 20 wins for Big Red, please. What? What do you mean you're tapped? I thought those wires just connected you directly to the internet or something.

4. San Diego

Jake Peavy
Chris Young
Shawn Estes

All-world Jake and then a couple of should be  back-end scrubs. I think the Padres are hoping for a lot of rain with this top of the rotation. What's sad is that I can't even say it's the worst in the division. I know, I know, "...the right to an attorney..." blah, blah, blah. You're really going to get it for this Reference Boy

5. Arizona

Brandon Webb
Russ Ortiz
Miguel Batista

No, I wasn't threatening a federal officer, come on Reference Boy, lighten up. By the way, did you know that Sportsline says Ortiz is Arizona's most likely candidate to surprise. And they mean it in a good way? Seriously. I guess they say he's primed and cerebral or something. Speaking of which, while we're talking about Arizona maybe I can tell you a little something about Wayne Gretzky and you can maybe go easy on me, Reference Boy? Huh? Think about it. Okay.

I'll go.
You are going to frisk me, right? Handcuffs? I better stop now.