Sometimes baseball just doesn't go the way you expect it to. Prior to the start of the 2015 season, two of the popular narratives surrounding the Colorado Rockies were that they had done little to nothing to improve a pitching staff that was the worst in the National League in 2014, and that couldn't play on the road. It's still very early, but so far they are doing their best to defy those narratives.
Through nine games, the pitching staff has seen its ERA drop almost two and a half runs from 4.86 in 2014 to just 2.41 in 2015, a change that has taken them from the bottom of the National League to the top. The performance on the road has seen a similar upswing. After posting an awful 21-60 road record--the worst in the National League by eight games--in 2014, they've jumped out to a 6-0 start on the road in 2015. All of this has led to an early lead in the National League West for the club. Here's a look at how the rest of the division has fared so far:
Arizona Diamondbacks (4-5, 3 GB)
Season to date: The Diamondbacks have played nine games within the division in the early going. They lost two of three to the Giants and took two of three from the Dodgers at home, then traveled to San Diego where they dropped two out of three against the Padres.
Upcoming schedule: Arizona will finish up a seven game road trip with four games in AT&T Park against the Giants, then return home for their first interleague series of the season; a quick two gamer against the Texas Rangers.
Disabled list: RHP Bronson Arroyo (60-day, Tommy John surgery), LHP Patrick Corbin (15-day, Tommy John surgery), C Oscar Hernandez (15-day, hand), RHP David Hernandez (15-day, Tommy John surgery), C Gerald Laird (15-day, back), RHP Matthew Stites (15-day, arm soreness)
Player of the week: 1B Paul Goldschmidt
Surrounded by a roster that isn't exactly full of talent, Goldschmidt figures to occupy this space pretty often in 2015. The all-star first baseman is off to a strong start, slashing .344/.447/.656 with three home runs and nine RBIs in his first 38 PA of the season.
Colorado Rockies (7-2, 0 GB)
Season to date: It has been a fantastic start to the year for the Rockies. They began the season with a three game road sweep over the Milwaukee Brewers, came home and lost two of three against the Chicago Cubs, then went back out on the road and completed another three game road sweep, this one over the Giants.
Upcoming schedule: The Rockies stay in the division next week with three games in Los Angeles against the Dodgers preceding a four game home series against the Padres.
Disabled list: RHP Tyler Chatwood (60-day, Tommy John surgery), IF Charlie Culberson (60-day, lumbar disc), LHP Jorge De La Rosa (15-day, groin), RHP David Hale (15-day, oblique)
Player of the week: DJ LeMahieu
LeMahieu has gotten off to a scorching hot start for the Rockies. Over his first 37 PA of the season, LeMahieu is second in the National League with 18 hits and has an impressive .514/.528/.571 slash line to go with his always superb defense.
Los Angeles Dodgers (6-3, 1 GB)
Season to date: The divisional favorites have gotten off to a good start in their first nine games of the season. They took two out of three at home against the Padres, lost two out of three in Arizona, and most recently swept the Seattle Mariners in three games at home.
Upcoming schedule: The Dodgers will host the Rockies for three games next week before traveling to San Francisco for their first three games of the season against the hated Giants.
Disabled list: RHP Brandon Beachy (60-day, Tommy John surgery), RHP Kenley Jansen (15-day, foot), RHP Brandon League (15-day, shoulder), LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (15-day, shoulder), RHP Chris Withrow (60-day, Tommy John surgery)
Player of the week: 1B Adrian Gonzalez
Gonzalez has set the league ablaze in his first nine games of 2015. In his first 42 PA, he has an absolutely unreal slash line of .528/.595/1.111 (that's not a typo) to go with six doubles and five home runs.
San Diego Padres (6-4, 1.5 GB)
Season to date: The new look Padres are off to a solid start. After losing two of three on the road in Los Angeles, the Pads headed home where they took three out of four from the Giants and two of three from the Diamondbacks.
Upcoming schedule: San Diego heads out on the road this week. They start with three at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs, then head to Coors Field for a four game set against the Rockies.
Disabled list: C Tim Federowicz (60-day, knee), RHP Josh Johnson (15-day, Tommy John surgery), RHP Ian Kennedy (15-day, hamstring), LHP Cory Luebke (60-day, Tommy John surgery), OF Melvin Upton (15-day, foot)
Player of the week: Justin Upton
It's been a strong start for the newly acquired Justin Upton. In his first 42 PA as a Padre, he has slashed .351/.405/.703 with three home runs and nine RBIs.
San Francisco Giants (3-7, 4.5 GB)
Season to date: Things have not gone as planned for the defending World Series Champions so far. It started out well enough as the club took two of three in Arizona against the Diamondbacks to start the season. From there, they lost three out of four in San Diego before coming home and being swept by the Rockies.
Upcoming schedule: Up next for the Giants are seven divisional games as they continue a 10 game home stand. They'll host the Diamondbacks for four before welcoming in the rival Dodgers for a three game series.
Disabled list: RHP Matt Cain (15-day, flexor tendon), RHP Erik Cordier (15-day, forearm), 1B Travis Ishikawa (15-day, back), OF Hunter Pence (15-day, forearm)
Player of the week: RHP Chris Heston
Rookie Chris Heston has been very impressive in just his second and third Major League starts for the Giants, posting a 1-0 record and a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings of work.