As we approach the final month of the regular season, the NL West has come down to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. It briefly appeared that the Arizona Diamondbacks were going to butt in and make it a 3-team race when they climbed a game above .500 and came within five games of the division lead, but they have since lost three straight and dropped to 7½ games back. That day that the D-Backs were within five games was (probably) their last day of the season with at least a one percent chance to make the playoffs (according to FanGraphs). That got me to thinking: what about the other two teams that are out of it? What's the latest day in the season that the San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies had at least a one percent chance at making the playoffs? Let's take a look.
For the Padres, their latest date came not too long ago on August 6. From July 24 through August 3, the Padres compiled an 8-2 record to get to 52-54 on the season, 8½ games back in the division and 6 games back of a Wild Card spot. That run got their playoff odds all the way up to four percent, but then the wheels fell off. Six straight losses against two of the worst teams in the NL -- the Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies -- took them completely out of the race, but their playoff odds remained above the one percent threshold for the first three games of the losing streak. Today, the Padres have a 0.6% chance to make the playoffs.
Not surprisingly, we have to look quite a bit further back to find the last day above the one percent mark for the Rockies. Way back on May 23, the Rockies began a run of 13 wins in 17 games and on June 9, they were 27-30 on the season, six games back in the division and just 3½ games back in the Wild Card. At that point, the club had a whopping 1.8 percent chance at a playoff berth. From there, the Rockies lost nine out of 10 games and were never heard from again. They did, however, survive the first loss and maintained a 1.2 percent shot at the playoffs on June 10. Today, the Rockies playoff odds are unsurprisingly at 0.0 percent. Now, let's take a look around the recent happenings in the division.
Arizona Diamondbacks (62-64, 7½ GB)
The weeks that were: Arizona went 6-7 the last two weeks, culminating in three straight losses at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals after climbing to within five games of the division lead.
Upcoming schedule: The D-Backs play the series finale with the Cardinals on Thursday night, host the Oakland Athletics for three games, then travel to Denver for three with the Colorado Rockies.
Disabled list: C Tuffy Gosewisch (60-day, knee), IF Philip Gosselin (60-day, thumb), RHP Jeremy Hellickson (15-day, hamstring)
Player of the week: A.J. Pollock
All year, Pollock has been flying under the radar as one of the best players in the NL, and that hasn't changed over the past two weeks.In 53 plate appearances, Pollock slashed .400/.434/.600 with five doubles, a triple, a home run, and six stolen bases, good for a 182 wRC+. His 5.8 rWAR on the year trails only Bryce Harper and teammate Paul Goldschmidt among NL position players.
Colorado Rockies (51-74, 18 GB)
The weeks that were: The forgettable season for the Rockies has continued over the past two weeks as they've gone just 4-9 in 13 games. Their lone bright spot was taking two out of three from the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
Upcoming schedule: After a day off on Thursday, the club heads to Pittsburgh for three against the Pirates before returning home for a 4-game set against the Diamondbacks.
Disabled list: LHP Tyler Anderson (60-day, elbow), RHP Brooks Brown (15-day, shoulder), RHP Tyler Chatwood (60-day, Tommy John surgery), OF Corey Dickerson (15-day, rib), RHP Kyle Kendrick (15-day, shoulder), LHP Boone Logan (15-day, elbow), RHP Jordan Lyles (60-day, toe), C Michael McKenry (60-day, knee), 1B Justin Morneau (60-day, concussion), RHP Adam Ottavino (60-day, Tommy John surgery)
Player of the week: Charlie Blackmon
As he's been all year, Charlie Blackmon continued his steady play the last two weeks. In his 55 plate appearances, he hit .333/.382/.510 with three doubles, two home runs, and four stolen bases. Blackmon has a shot to become the first player in club history with 20 or more home runs and 40 or more stolen bases in the same season.
Los Angeles Dodgers (69-56, 0 GB)
The weeks that were: It wasn't a great two week stretch for the Dodgers as they went just 5-5, but thanks to the rest of the division doing poorly as well, they've maintained their lead in the division.
Upcoming schedule: After finishing up their series with the Cincinnati Reds, the Dodgers head home for a crucial week that includes three with the Chicago Cubs and three with the San Francisco Giants -- who are currently second in the division.
Disabled list: RHP Bronson Arroyo (60-day, Tommy John surgery), RHP Carlos Frias (60-day, back), 2B Howie Kendrick (15-day, hamstring), RHP Brandon McCarthy (60-day, Tommy John surgery), RHP Joel Peralta (15-day, neck), LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (60-day, shoulder)
Player of the week: Clayton Kershaw
The best pitcher in baseball continued to show it the last two weeks, as he allowed just two earned runs in 15 innings, a 1.20 ERA. He allowed just 12 hits and walked only two to go with 17 strikeouts. The Major League leader in fWAR has a ridiculous 0.94 ERA and 91-to-7 strikeout to walk ratio while holding opposing hitters to a .189/.215/.236 slash line across 77 innings in his last 10 starts, though his Dodgers are somehow just 5-5 in those games.
San Diego Padres (62-64, 7½ GB)
The weeks that were: These have been the best two weeks of the season for the Padres as they've gone 8-3 to climb back within two games of .500. Unfortunately, it's probably too little, too late, as they still sit 7½ games back with just 36 games to play.
Upcoming schedule: San Diego will look to stay not next week as they wrap up a series on the road against the Washington Nationals, then head to Citizen's Bank Park for three with the Philadelphia Phillies before returning home for three interleague games with the Texas Rangers
Disabled list: RHP Josh Johnson (60-day, Tommy John surgery), LHP Cory Luebke (60-day, elbow surgery), RHP Marcos Mateo (15-day, neck), RHP Brandon Maurer (15-day, shoulder), RHP Brandon Morrow (60-day, shoulder), OF Wil Myers (60-day, wrist)
Player of the week: Ian Kennedy
It was a strong two weeks for Kennedy, as he posted a 0.71 ERA in two starts spanning 12⅔ innings. He allowed 11 hits, struck out 18, and walked just two hitters. Kennedy now holds a 4.01 ERA across 128 innings on the season.
San Francisco Giants (67-59, 2½ GB)
The weeks that were: The Giants stayed close to the Dodgers at the top of the division over the last two weeks, going 7-6 in their 13 games that included nine against the Cardinals, Pirates, and Cubs -- holders of the three best records in the NL.
Upcoming schedule: The gauntlet continues for San Francisco next week. They have one more with the Cubs and host the Cardinals for three more before heading to Los Angeles for a crucial 3-game set with the Dodgers.
Disabled list: LHP Jeremy Affeldt (15-day, knee), RHP Tim Hudson (15-day, shoulder), RHP Tim Lincecum (15-day, forearm/hip), OF Angel Pagan (15-day, patella tendinitis), 2B Joe Panik (15-day, back), OF Hunter Pence (15-day, oblique), IF Marco Scutaro (60-day, back)
Player of the week: Madison Bumgarner
It was quite the couple of weeks for Bumgarner. On the pitching side of things, he put up a 1.76 ERA in two starts that spanned 15⅓ innings while allowing just nine hits to go with three walks and 20 strikeouts. That wasn't all, though. Offensively, Bumgarner also did damage with a double and two home runs in his nine plate appearances.