On Tuesday morning, San Francisco sat 10 games behind NL West leading Arizona. After sweeping the Diamondbacks in Phoenix, they're now just 7 games behind. That's basic baseball math, people. That's simple subtraction, folks. No fancy abracadabra algebra or hocus pocus calculus hokum. Last night, Randy Winn came up in the ninth against reliever Chad Qualls and hit his second tater tot of the night to win the game for the Giants. Randy Johnson's semi-historic night took a back seat and his chance for the win was lost at the hands of the Diamondbacks bullpen.
Looking at the big picture, the question arises: what the heck is wrong with the National League West? Predicted by many to be the most competitive division in baseball, they've come out of the gate choking on the dry desert air. One-third of the way through the season and the five teams in the NL West have amassed a collective 60-90 record against the rest of baseball. That's .400 baseball! Teams like the Cubs (11-2) and the Phillies (12-6) are padding their resumes by making the most of their games against the West.
Arizona was riding high through April and most of May, playing on a pace to win well over 100 games. After this sweep? They're on pace to win less than 90. Excluding the hapless Nationals, the Giants, Padres and Rockies have the three worst records in the National League. Yuck!
What lies ahead for these teams' futures? Well Arizona will still most likely win the division. The Dodgers are in the middle of a rough road trip and fell one game under .500 with their loss last night to the Mets. Their wild card chances are on the rocks. The Padres, under the advisement of superstar sabermetrician Paul DePodesta, are in a rebuilding year. The Giants are turning out to be the surprise team in the majors, mostly because there are actually six teams with worse records. The Rockies? They just outright suck.