MLB News Update: National League West as of August 12, 2013
2013-08-11 11:00:00 EDT
The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to cruise in the National League West.
It’s really incredible the type of run that the Dodgers have been on, and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. Clayton Kershaw was strong again through eight innings on Sunday night, as the Dodgers completed a sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays and the left-hander lowered his ERA to 1.88 for the year, while picking up his 11th victory of the season. Every starter in Los Angeles’ lineup contributed at least one hit in the ball game and it just shows you how good this team is playing when they go out and take three straight from a good club like the Rays. They’ll start a three game series with the New York Mets on Monday night and should have a good chance to further increase their 7.5 game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ricky Nolasco will look to put up another formidable start and they’d also like to see Chris Capuano bounce back after his last outing. They’ll travel east to take on the Phillies and Marlins after Wednesday’s game.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are trying to keep their heads above water, but with the way the Dodgers are playing that’s just not good enough. They’re 5.5 games behind the Cincinnati Reds for the final Wild Card position and they’ll play a big four game series in Cincinnati next week. They’ll need to give themselves a chance for that series to matter because they’ve got six games with the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates before then. They’d like to get off to a good start on Monday when Wade Miley opposes Scott Feldman. Miley has pitched very well his last three outings, allowing just two earned runs over those starts. Randall Delgado will look to get back on track on Tuesday after his second consecutive bad outing.
In Colorado the Rockies can’t figure out what’s going on right now. They looked completely inept in getting swept in New York by the Mets early last week, then followed that up by returning home and sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jorge De La Rosa was excellent on Friday night, and Juan Nicasio and Chad Bettis both gave them strong outings this weekend as well. Unfortunately they’re still nine games under .500 on the year, 13 games back in the division, and 11 games back in the Wild Card race. Things fell apart quickly for this ball club and it will be interesting to see if they attempt to move players like Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki in the offseason for some major packages. They’ve got to do something to reshape this organization in the near future and bring in some big young arms. The Rockies will host the San Diego Padres before heading to Baltimore this weekend.
Speaking of the Padres, this is a baseball club that is extremely competitive at Petco Park, but they just can’t win on the road. The Padres are 31-27 at home this year, but are 15 games under .500 on the road. They might have found something in Tyson Ross, who was exceptional yet again in his seventh start of the year since being moved into the rotation. Ross has 2.75 ERA and has allowed just four earned runs in four starts since he moved back into a starting role. His pitches have such natural movement that he’s hard to square up. That was the only bright spot for the club this week as they lost twice to the Orioles and two of three to the Reds. After playing three in Colorado, they’ll get to return home for a 10 game home stand.
Holding up the rear are the San Francisco Giants, a team that just can’t figure it out this year. They just can’t find ways to win series’ and that happened once again this week. A split at home against a bad Milwaukee Brewers club, followed by losing two of three to the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend. Matt Cain pitched seven innings of three run ball, but it wasn’t enough as the Giants mustered just two runs against Bud Norris on the afternoon. Three relievers imploded and Baltimore ended up winning 10-2. It has just been a collective hangover for this club and there’s really not one person you can point the finger at. Cain certainly hasn’t been himself for most of the year and Tim Lincecum takes two steps back for every one that he takes forward, but this has been a collective effort. The loss of Angel Pagan really has hurt this club more than anyone could have imagined. Marco Scutaro has done a nice job, but he just doesn’t have that same dynamic that Pagan does at the top of the order. They’ll try to get on track this week with an east coast road trip that takes them to Washington and Miami.