Can you believe it? We have reached the last day of August. It seems like Opening Day was just yesterday and here we are at the time when things will begin to get very interesting in the MLB Division races.
The next 34 days – today included – are bound to be agonizing for some, exciting for others and a mixture of both for everyone else. So let’s get to it, shall we?
San Francisco Giants
Well, look who is in first place in the Division. Since we last visited the NL West, there’s been a big change in the standings. The Giants, who were a half game back two weeks ago, now find themselves up four and half games on the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Giants are 8-2 in their last 10 and are hoping to pull away from the Dodgers as the dog days of summer turn into the cooler days of Autumn. They just swept a three-game series against the lowly Houston Astros with Santiago Casilla, George Kontos and Ryan Vogelsong all earning victories. They traveling to Chicago to play another three-game set against the Cubs this weekend.
For more on the Giants, please visit Third Street Kings
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers look a lot different than they did two weeks ago. Since then, they’ve added Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to their roster while saying good-bye to James Loney and four prospects, three of them with major league experience.
If you’ve been traveling in space and just arrived back to Earth you are not seeing things, there are four former Red Sox players now on the Dodgers. Gonzalez made his presence known immediately with a home run in his first at bat as a Dodger. Beckett didn’t fair so well in his debut – he was battered for five earned runs en route to a 10-0 loss at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.
In fact, the blockbuster trade hasn’t done much to help the Dodgers who are only 2-4 since the ink dried on the deal and they’re now looking up at the Giants in the standings.
For more news on all of the happenings in Chavez Ravine, visit Foul Territory
During his pre-game media conference on Wednesday, Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said, “I quit all tobacco and all caffeine. I feel better. Maybe I should start doing it again. We has a better record when I did it.” It was met with laughter but I’m sure he’s not to happy with his team’s play of late.
Going into last night’s game with the Dodgers the Diamondbacks were in the midst of a six-game losing streak and were 2-8 in their last 10 games. Luckily for them, they ran into a reeling Dodger team and halted their losing streak at six behind a strong a performance by Ian Kennedy who gave up only two hits in six and two-thirds innings. He also struck out seven Dodgers.
September’s schedule is an interesting one for the Diamondbacks. Aside from three games against the Cubs on September 28-30, they will only be facing their NL West opponents for the remainder of the season. (Who made this schedule?) This means Arizona can easily play the role of spoiler for both the Dodgers and Giants.
San Diego Padres
With everyone paying so much attention to the Giants and Dodgers, the Padres’ play of late has gone largely unnoticed. Of course, it doesn’t help that they are 10 games under .500 with a -45 run differential but they are 9-1 in their last 10 games which is pretty good.
Also, worth noting, the Padres are now under new ownership. A deal was closed this past week and the Padres were purchased for $800 millon by the O’Malley family. Yes, that O’Malley family. So will the Padres become the Dodgers of extreme Southern California? That remains to be seen but for now – during this current winning streak- they’re giving their fans something to cheer about.
The Rockies are 7-3 in their last 10 games. During that time, they swept the New York Mets, lost two out of three to the Chicago Cubs and then won two out of three to the Dodgers – including the 10-0 drubbing the night Beckett debuted.
Yeah, I can’t explain that. This weekend they’re playing the red-hot Padres at home. Adding to the drama, the Rockies have seven games in September against the Giants. If they play their cards right, they can also – like the Diamondbacks – act as spoiler and make things really interesting heading into October.
This could be fun!