So far this year, two story lines have dominated the National League West. One would be the emergence of the San Francisco Giants as the best team in baseball (.623 win pct.), with the other being the failure of expectations by the Los Angeles Dodgers. As of right now, the Dodgers would still be a playoff team, but this was a group of talent that was supposed to be among the best in baseball. Still, there is plenty of time for Los Angeles to re-surface as the leading power of the National League. Let’s have a look at how the past week unfolded within the National League West.
1. San Francisco Giants (43-26, 1-6 this week)
The Giants struggled heavily this week, first dropping three straight to the Washington Nationals at home to start the week. The inconsistency of the starting rotation led San Francisco to lose three out of four to the Nationals this week. Ryan Vogelsong struggled on Monday before Madison Bumgarner turned in a strong start in a losing effort on Tuesday. Matt Cain then faltered again on Wednesday, before Tim Hudson picked up the Giants’ lone win in the series on Thursday. San Francisco then hosted the Colorado Rockies for the weekend, dropping the opener on Friday night on a go-ahead single in the ninth by Colorado’s DJ LeMahieu. Sergio Romo then blew his fourth save of the year on Saturday, as Brandon Barnes launched a go-ahead two-run home run to hand the Giants another loss. San Francisco then fell victim to the sweep on Sunday afternoon, as Colorado used a four-run eighth to take the win.
Player of the Week- Michael Morse (10-25, 2 2B, 2 RBI)
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (37-33, 4-3 this week)
Now despite the talk of Los Angeles’ underachieving of expectations this year, the Dodgers turned in a pretty solid week. They won back-to-back games in Cincinnati on Monday and Tuesday, with Scott Van Slyke leading the way with two homers on Monday and Josh Beckett turning in a great start on Tuesday. Los Angeles then dropped the next two to the Reds, being shut out on Wednesday and held to one run on Thursday. The Dodgers then headed home to host the Arizona Diamondbacks, with the series beginning on Friday night. Clayton Kershaw was dominant on Friday night, leading the Dodgers to a victory to open the series before they claimed the series on Saturday behind a quality start from Dan Haren. Los Angeles was unable to complete the sweep on Sunday, dropping the series finale 6-3.
Player of the Week- Matt Kemp (8-22, HR, 4 RBI)
3. Colorado Rockies (33-35, 5-2 this week)
The hot start for the Rockies eventually wore off, but they just put together a solid week here in mid-June. After losing back-to-back games at home to Atlanta to start the week, the Rockies fired off five straight wins to end the week. The first of those four wins came on Wednesday, when the offense exploded for eight runs, keyed by big nights from Troy Tulowitzki, Justin Morneau, Drew Stubbs, and Josh Rutledge. The offense came back with ten more runs on Thursday, earning the series split with the Braves. The Rockies took the weekend series opener on Friday night in San Francisco when DJ LeMahieu picked up a go-ahead single in Colorado’s three-run ninth. Brandon Barnes’ two-run home run in the ninth inning on Saturday proved to be the difference in that one, as the Rockies picked up a fourth straight victory. The three-game sweep was then completed on Sunday with another late offensive surge, this time with four runs in the eighth.
Player of the Week- Justin Morneau (11-25, 2 2B, HR, 10 RBI)
4. San Diego Padres (29-40, 1-5 this week)
2014 has started out as another disappointing year for San Diego, as they dropped four straight to start the week before picking up a win on Saturday. The week started on Tuesday in Philadelphia, where the Phillies won game one behind a brilliant start by A.J. Burnett, who allowed just two runs on three hits in seven and one-thirds innings. The Phillies took game two on Wednesday when Reid Brignac launched a walk-off, three-run home run to secure the series for Philadelphia. The sweep was completed on Thursday, as Philadelphia was helped by big days from both Ben Revere and John Mayberry Jr. The Padres continued their losing ways on Friday night before finally winning on Saturday in New York, breaking the skid with a 5-0 win over the Mets. Jesse Hahn picked up his first MLB victory, allowing no runs on just one hit in six innings. The Padres then dropped the series finale on Sunday by a score of 3-1.
Player of the Week- Jesse Hahn (6 IP, H, 0 R, 7 K in first MLB win on Saturday @NYM)
5. Arizona Diamondbacks (30-42, 2-5 this week)
The D-Backs have fallen into last place in the division, struggling this week while posting up a 2-5 mark. They dropped three of four to the Houston Astros to start the week before losing a three-game series to the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend. The one consistent bright spot for Arizona continues to be Paul Goldschmidt, who has fifteen home runs this year.
Player of the Week- Paul Goldschmidt (9-24, 4 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI)