I look back at the previous ten games each week to see which teams are talking the loudest, and which teams are sleeping at the switch. Today’s results are as of Thursday, June 5th.
Once again this week, only one team in the National League has more than six victories in the last ten games and that is your San Francisco Giants, who went 7-3 over the span. Single losses to the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds means that the Giants took the three corresponding series, making it a total of four in a row. The Giants have not dropped a series since early May, when they stumbled in Pittsburgh.
The Arizona Diamondbacks had the second-best W/L record in the NL West the past ten games, winning six, while the San Diego Padres won five, the Los Angeles Dodgers four, and the Colorado Rockies, one single game.
Both the Dodgers and the Rockies are experiencing technical difficulties. Colorado is in free-fall, having won only once in ten games, and the Dodgers are squabbling, like family, we are informed.
There was that dugout fracas between Don Mattingly and Andre Ethier; there was the ongoing grumbling by Matt Kemp, who wants to return to center field; there was Mattingly lamenting the lack of unity on his team, saying that he wished they would all pull together; and we know that if there were these three things, there were a lot more that were not brought to the media’s attention. Dirty laundry and all that.
Meanwhile, San Francisco has opened up an eight-and-a-half game lead over Los Angeles.
Over in the NL Central, things were pretty, er, centralized last week, with the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates winning six games each the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs taking five apiece, and the Cardinals bringing up the rear with only three wins in their last ten games.
The Brewers took series from the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs and split four with the Minnesota Twins, and are set to meet the Pirates this weekend.
Oct 9, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) stretches before game five of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
The Pirates, San Francisco’s new best friend, took a series from the New York Mets, took THREE out of FOUR from L.A, and dropped a series to the Cubs.
The Reds, just off of dropping two of three to the Giants, are still trying to find their offense. They had won four in a row prior to playing the Giants, so they are starting to get it together. The last-place Cubs are hit and miss, mostly miss, though they did just take two out of three from the first-place Brewers.
And the Cardinals are seriously floundering, as we saw when the Giants left town after an eight to nothing thrashing, and a series win, three games to one.
Over in the NL East, the first-place Atlanta Braves (four games above .500) won only four games, and the last-place Philadelphia Phillies won only two. The Washington Nationals, the Miami Marlins and the New York Mets, due to open a three-game set against the Giants on Friday night, each won six and lost four.
Though the Braves are currently being schooled by the Seattle Mariners, they did manage a three-game sweep of the Marlins, who remain the club in the National League, with the best W/L record after the division leaders.
Miami has been making moves and jockeying with the Braves for control. Following their sweep at the hands of Atlanta, the Marlins went out fishing themselves, netting a four-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Jul 4, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) doubles to deep left center during the fourth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
The Mets were going great for a week, and then ran into the Cubs, who uncharacteristically swept them. So we don’t really know what to expect from New York tonight at AT&T Park. Washington just beat up on the Phillies, sweeping three from them, and are due to follow the Mets into AT&T Park for a four-game set.
The Giants are the team to beat in the National League, at eighteen games above .500, and the best road W/L record. The Brewers are eleven games above middle-ground, and the Braves a mere four.
The Giants have no fundamental flaws in their pursuit of another division title; all they need is to get Brandon Belt back and stay focused on the job at hand, and keep their eyes on the road in front of them.
That means driving past the laundry-mat, where the Dodgers would like to wash their dirty linen, but unfortunately, can’t agree on which detergent to use. Considering they are the “best” that money could buy, who’d a thunk it?
May 8, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (left) crosses home plate to score in the 10th inning as Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Drew Butera (31) watches at Dodger Stadium. The Giants defeated the Dodgers 3-1 in 10 innings. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports