Entering this season, I had predicted that the NL West would essentially be a two-team race between the Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies. Unfortunately, I also picked the Seattle Mariners to give the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim a run for their money in the AL West—and look where both those teams are at. That’s the thing with baseball, no matter how big of an expert you think you are, baseball is just unpredictable sometimes.
The San Diego Padres have led the division for a majority of the year, and despite a nine game losing streak earlier that extended into this month, the Padres still hold a lead in the NL West. With under a month to go, the Dodgers are 11.0 games back of the first-place Padres. Their elimination number as of Thursday stands at 13. Meanwhile, Colorado—fueled by Carlos Gonzalez—is right along side the San Francisco Giants in chasing the first-place Padres.
The Dodgers, who have been a major disappointment this season, are in tough position. In the midst of a nasty divorce between the team’s owners, the Dodgers are seemingly having a tough time keeping their heads above the .500 mark. Pitching was the problem early in the first-half, and once the pitching fixed itself, the offense took a fall. As of Thursday, the Dodgers rank 18th in baseball with a .257 average, and 13th in ERA with a team mark of 3.98.
While the team has virtually no shot at catching the Padres, they still have reasons to keep fighting on. Just take 1B James Loney for example, he’s in a bit of a slump, but he still leads the team in RBIs with 80. But with a couple more weeks left, Loney could come close or even surpass the 90 RBI mark. Little things like seeing players reach and surpass individual achievements will make these last few weeks a little less painful to watch.