Welcome to the fifth week of the NL West report, where we completely ignore the fact that the Yankees have a home run hitting robot and the Mets forget about modern medical technology so we can focus on baseball in the western half of the USA.
Once again the Rockies sit gracefully atop the NL West after winning two more road series against the Diamondbacks and Padres. How did the rest of the division fair? Let’s take a look.
The Diamondbacks this week: 2-4
It was a tough week for the Diamondbacks as they lost both of their series against the Rockies and Nationals. We probably don’t need to remind your of the low point for Arizona but Fernando Rodney’s meltdown against the Rockies on Saturday night is worth our time here. The Diamondback closer (who is the owner of a 11.45 ERA) gave up two hits, issued two walks, threw two wild pitches and yielded three runs. But the Arizona pitching showed up in a big way the following day, shutting out the Rockies 2-0.
The Diamondbacks didn’t run into the buzz saw offense that was on display when the Nationals came to Coors Field, but Washington did just enough to win two of three. The lone Arizona win was highlighted by three home runs and 41⁄3 shutout innings from their bullpen, one of which came from former Rockie Jorge De La Rosa who has performed admirably in his new role.
The Dodgers this week: 4-2
The big story this week for the Dodgers was emergence of top prospect Cody Bellinger. The left fielder only recorded one hit in his first three games but since then Cody has been hitting .391 with two home runs and five RBI. One of the home runs came in a wild game against the Phillies where the Dodgers trailed 5-2 going into the bottom of the ninth with Hector Neris taking the mound. The Dodgers proceeded to tie the game by hitting back-to-back-to-back solo home runs courtesy of Yasiel Puig, Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner. Later in the inning Adrian Gonzalez singled home Austin Barnes to seal the improbable ninth inning comeback (which just so happened to be on the same night the Rockies overcame a 6-1 deficit to beat the Diamondbacks).
Los Angeles ended up sweeping the visiting Phillies which game them momentum heading into a home series with the Giants. They weren’t able to capitalize, dropping two of three. The lone victory in the series was a 13-5 win with Yasiel Puig providing a nice chunk of run support with four RBI.
The Padres this week: 3-3
Before losing two of their last three to the resplendent Colorado Rockies on their home field, the Padres were able to snag a nice series victory against the Giants up in San Francisco. In game two the bats came alive and produced a 12-4 victory, thanks to a pair of three-run home runs courtesy of Wil Myers and Allen Cordoba. The following night the Padres provided some late-inning theatrics after training 2-0 going into the top of the ninth. After Luis Sardinas was able to get on base because of Eduardo Nuñez error, Hector Sanchez blasted a two-run home run off of closer Mark Melancon (his second blown save of the season). The Padres blew the game open in extras with a three-run jack from (who else) Wil Myers.
The Giants this week: 3-3
The bottom-dwelling Giants came out with an even 3-3 split between their two series against NL West foes. In their first series against the Padres they were able to score a 4-3 victory (one of five one-run wins on the year) thanks to an eight inning home run from Christian Arroyo, one of the Giants top prospects who has been filling for the injured Brandon Crawford at shortstop. It sounds like once Crawford is healthy, Bruce Bochy said he will give Arroyo time at third base as well. The win against the Padres was their only of the series as they dropped the next two games, one of which was a 12-4 blowout and a 5-2 loss in extras.
The Giants bounce back by winning two of three against the rival Dodgers. In the first game they were able come away with a win after jumping on LA ace Clayton Kershaw early with a pair of home runs from Hunter Pence and Buster Posey. Following a blowout loss in game two of the series, the Giants won another extra-inning affair behind eight solid innings from Jeff Samardzija and some clutch hitting from Gorkys Hernandez and Brandon Belt.
Standings as of 5/5
The week ahead
The Giants hit the road for a couple of series back east starting with a three game set against the Reds followed by a trip to Citi Field to face the Mets. The Diamondbacks will head to Denver for three games against the Rockies before coming to home for a two-game set against the Detroit Tigers followed by a four-game series with Pittsburgh. The Padres will play host to Dodgers and then will get their first taste of interleague play against the Texas Rangers. The Dodgers will take a drive down I-5 for three games against the Padres, followed by a home series with the visiting Pirates.