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Saturday Morning Rockpile:


NL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Arizona 71 69 .507 0 Lost 1
Los Angeles 71 70 .503 0.5 Won 6
Colorado 67 75 .471 5 Won 1
San Francisco 60 80 .428 11 Lost 1
San Diego 54 87 .382 17.5 Lost 1

(updated 9.6.2008 at 10:05 AM EDT)


The result I guess we'd be looking for at this point for the next two games would be for the Diamondbacks and Dodgers to split and the the Rockies to complete a sweep of Houston. How likely is this? Oswalt vs Francis today will be tough but certainly doable the way Jeff has pitched since returning from the DL. Our chances are a bit better in the Rodriguez vs JDLR match-up tomorrow (Rodriguez isn't bad, but he's had troubles at Coors Field in the past and is coming off a minor oblique strain). Racking up a couple of series sweeps is crucial at this point if we want to make it all thwe way back, and to do so while the Dodgers and D-backs play each other ensures a net +3 in the standings.

I'm liking this more assertive Chris Iannetta. It's not like there was any doubt remaining that he's our catcher now, but his leadership with the pitching staff down the stretch should be given the credit it's due given that Hurdle and Apodaca were quick to point out Torrealba's similar role in 2007.

Ian Stewart ranks fairly solidly among NL rookies, both by those traditional measures and more advanced statistical measures such as Baseball Prospectus' VORP in which he ranks third behind Geovany Soto and Joey Votto after the latter's had a pretty good hot streak. BP pointed out yesterday that Willy Taveras is the first batting title qualified hitter since Deion Sanders to have more stolen bases than runs scored. This isn't exactly a compliment to the players batting behind Taveras, but it's not like Taveras can complain much given his own OBP.