I've took a couple weeks off from doing baseball updates on the divisions in baseball, but they are back.
It's kind of funny to say, but the best division this past week has been the National League West. The Dodgers, Giants, and Rockies have been red hot. Hell if the year ended now, the NL West would have two teams in the playoffs, the Dodgers and Giants. Not the Cardinals, not the Mets, but the Giants are leading the Wild Card standings. And the Rockies have won 11 straight and they look like the team that blew past the National League in 2007 and played in the World Series. Which reminds me.
We are smoldering hot: Yes the Colorado Rockies have won 11 straight including sweeps over St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Seattle. One of the reasons the Rockies have improved dramatically, is the pitching staff. Jason Marquis, Jason Hammel, and Ubaldo Jimenez all have ERA's under 4, which is great because they play in Colorado. The addition of Houston Street as the closer also has been a great move. Street has saved 13 games and has only blown 1 save all season. If they didn't start the season off so badly, they wouldn't be 10.5 games behind first place in the NL West.
Yes!: The Giants are leading the NL Wild Card by a whole game. And it isn't a fluke. The lineup has finally found their identity and the pitching staff has been lights out. Both Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain pitched complete games over the weekend and in between Randy Johnson had a solid outing.
But it's the lineup that has improved. One of the reasons this team has improved is the move of Aaron Rowand to the leadoff spot. When Rowand signed with the Giants last year, he pressed because he was expected to be a home run hitter. But in AT&T Park, Rowand was just your average hitter. Well since moving to the leadoff spot Rowand has improved his batting average to .304 and has hit two leadoff home runs. Also Pablo Sandoval has improved his hitting. Earlier in the season Sandoval struggled. He swung at too many bad pitches and struck out a lot. Sandoval though has became a much more patient hitter at the plate and the numbers has improved. Pablo is hitting with .325 with six home runs. This team is finally playing with confidence, and it is showing in the standings.
Yorvit Torreabla finally returned to the Rockies after his son was returned after being kidnapped.
The Giants are looking for a power-hitting third baseman.
Juan Pierre has filled in nicely for Manny Ramirez for the Dodgers.
I don't think Jake Peavy will be traded now that he has been put on the DL.