I have decided to make a slight adjustment in the way I look at the National League each week, and that is I am going to look back at the previous ten games, not just the last seven. There will be three games overlapping each week, but all I am doing is looking at the teams talking the loudest, and the teams that are sleeping at the switch. All stats are as of the end of play on Thursday, May 29th.
Only one team of the fifteen has had more than six victories in its last ten games, and that is your San Francisco Giants, who went 8-2. Of course, the Giants just embarked on a challenging seven-game road trip to St. Louis and Cincinnati, but at least took the first game, 6-5 against the Cards.
In the National League East, only the Miami Marlins won as many as six games, catching up to the Atlanta Braves in the standings, and now share first place at 28-25. The fourth-place New York Mets took five and the Braves and the last place Philadelphia Phillies won four apiece. The Washington Nationals brought up the rear, losing seven of their last ten games.
Atlanta plays a key series at Miami this weekend, in a confrontation of division leaders, and the Phillies and Mets square off in Philadelphia. Washington will try and get back on the winning track against the American League when it faces the Texas Rangers at home this weekend.
In the NL Central, both the second-place St. Louis Cardinals and the third-place Pittsburgh Pirates won six of their last ten games, while the first place Milwaukee Brewers and the last-place Chicago Cubs won five apiece, leaving the Cincinnati Reds netting only four.
The Cards have their hands filled this weekend with San Francisco in town, as do the Pirates who travel to LA to play against the Dodgers. The Brewers host the Cubs and the Reds travel to Arizona. If there is any gain to be made on the Brewers, it will only come about because division teams played tough against NL West top teams, and the Cubs rose up and schooled Milwaukee.
In the NL West, which was meticulously analyzed by Around the Foghorn’s Michael Dixon yesterday, we see San Francisco having just completed a 5-1 home-stand against the Twins and Cubs, and setting out on the road. The Dodgers won six games last week, including the no-hitter by Josh Beckett, while the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks took five.
The Colorado Rockies, who are at Cleveland this weekend for three, return to Coors Field afterwards, for ten, among them, three against LA. They won four games of their last ten, while the Padres garnered only three victories.
Of greatest interest to the Giants is the series in LA with the Pirates facing the Blue Crew. The Pirates are one of the few teams to take a series against the Giants this year, so it might be interesting to see if they can repeat the feat and help the Giants out.
Overall, as wickedly delightful as it is that San Francisco maintains its role as the pace-setter for the major leagues, the track ahead becomes much more rigorous, and that injury bug has been flitting about, being problematical as it is want to be.
Maybe the chemistry, in which the Giants dabble so successfully, can be extended to counter the effects of future injury bug issues. Stranger things have happened amidst the Giants’ locker room and if you don’t believe me, I have only two words for you: red thong.