With the start of the year I'm unveiling the highly sophisticated capabilities of Purple Row to post technologically superior rankings. So without further ado, here's the initial Rock Scale:
Rox Girl sees bling in Detroit for week one, Pittsburgh's more like baby powder
Our Rockies 2006 version starts off just a tad better than last year, you could say. The sweep of the Padres was nice, but there's a definite problem of reading too much into early season results. For instance, the Tigers top week one's list as Jim Leyland seems more comfortable in Motown than he ever did in Mile High, but don't expect them to hold on to that spot for long. In fact, with the Tigers, Brewers, D-backs and Rockies all starting out so strong, you'd almost assume prematurely there's been a changing of the guard. Don't yet, but it's nice to still have hope for the season after week one, I have to say. The team Leyland's perhaps most remembered for (unless all you care about is rings) bottoms out the inaugural rankings, the Pirates so far aren't joining the young gun bandwagon.
NL West Teams
1. San Francisco - topaz
Last Week: 4-2 (1-1 @ SDG, 3-1 vs ATL)
Bonds on Bonds premiered with pretty good ratings too, so all in all it was a nice week for the G-men, syringes and all. This week, series against the Astros and then into Dodgerland starts a brutal stretch of sixteen in a row without a day off, including a ten game road trip within the division (finishing at Coors) that should give an early indication of how well the Giants and Bonds will hold together for the long season. The guess here is that injury trouble lies ahead in the next two weeks.
2. Arizona - quartz
Last Week: 3-3 (2-1 @ COL, 1-2 @ MIL)
The D-Backs started strong at Coors Field, shutting down the Rockies at high altitude, but then they ran into the Brewers, losing the first two before giving Milwaukee it's first loss of the season Sunday. This week the D-backs host Colorado for a rematch of last week's opening series, which also starts a ten game homestand. The teams' pitching has been better than I expected thus far, it will be interesting to see how well it holds up.
3. Colorado - orthoclase
Last Week: 4-2 (1-2 vs. ARI, 3-0 @ MIL)
The Rockies offense was Jeckyl and Hyde versus the D-backs and Padres, although the pitching was remarkably consistent. The hurlers were neither great or even very good, but fairly decent. Last year in this division that could have been enough if the staff started that way from the gate. This year I'm not so sure. If, however the offense consistently hits like it did against San Diego, though, that won't matter. Yeah, uhm-hmm, see below for the Padres capsule to see how I feel about that.
4. Los Angeles - apatite
Last Week: 3-3 (1-2 vs ATL, 2-1 @ PHI)
The Dodgers' started slow against the Braves but bounced back on the road with a nice series in Philadelphia. The team was well prepared for the loss due to injury (yet again) of Eric Gagne, by keeping Danys Baez in reserve. Baez had only a week before been the subject of heated trade gossip as many pundits saw him as redundant. Foolish pundits. This week the Dodgers start against the weak looking Pirates at Pittsburgh for a four game set, before finishing with three at home against the Giants.
5. San Diego - talc
Last Week: 1-4 (1-1 vs SFO, 0-3 vs COL)
Was the series sweep against the Padres because the Rockies are that good, or because the Pods are that bad? Don't get me wrong, I think the Rox are steps ahead of last year, but the pitching we saw from San Diego was terrible, and when Jake Peavey looks that bad, you know something's wrong. I don't think the Padres came out of Spring fully prepared, honestly, and I don't think this is a true reflection of the team we'll play against later in the year, but San Diego better make adjustments fast, or like Colorado last year, any improvements will come too late to matter.