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NL West roundup: The Padres take first place

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The Padres seized first while their divisional opponents floundered.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at San Francisco Giants Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Hi folks, a quick PSA

My name ‘s Dylan A. Chase. I’ve been commenting for a few years here as dylanchaseca, and lurking for much, much longer. Since I’ve enjoyed this community over the years, it bears mentioning that I understand and share in the confusion that has followed us here in the early season. This site has lost some great contributors, plain and simple.

Seeing the void that their departure has left, I asked John Gennaro if I could help shoulder the load in the content department and he kindly obliged. Most of my writing background is in Arts and Entertainment (I’m a regular writer for a fashion magazine called Flaunt), but I’m a native San Diegan and lifelong Padres fan. This season should bring plenty of opportunity to banter about the Padres, and I’d like to start things off this week with something I plan to be a regular feature. This “NL West roundup” is intended as a summary of recent events around the division, so that we might continually understand just how it is we are going to capture the pennant this year. Let’s get started.

Padres (11-6) take first place

The Padres wrapped up an excellent 10-game road trip this weekend in Arizona—a road trip which saw them go 7-3 and grab first place from the sliding Los Angeles Dodgers.

Thursday’s thrilling 7-6 slugfest with the Diamondbacks catapulted our team into the top of the division for the first time in several years.

This week was also highlighted by a series of roster moves. Monday brought injury announcements and the recall of Luis Urias from AAA; Pedro Avila was shuttled up-and-down for one excellent spot start; and just Sunday morning, Gerardo Reyes was sent down with an inconsistent Robert Stock, while Luis Perdomo and Phil Maton rejoined the squad.

The Padres are likely to face near-constant turnover this season in an attempt to manage the workloads of young starters and heavily taxed bullpen arms.

Dodgers (9-8) stumble

After hitting the crap out of the ball in Colorado last weekend, the Dodgers bats came down to earth in a big way this week. Throughout six straight losses from Monday to Saturday, the Dodgers scored 18 runs—this, after scoring a combined 29 in their series at Denver.

While the offensive regression is notable, it’s their pitching which has to be most concerning to Dodger fandom. Julio Urias and Walker Buehler haven’t quite lived up to the breathless hype which seems to follow them, and lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu was pulled from his Monday start with a groin injury which will sideline him for a sizable stretch of time.

In positive/concerning news, Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to return on Monday, and Rich Hill is throwing a baseball again.

Diamondbacks (7-9) do Diamondbacks things

The snakes dropped four-of-six this week, splitting a two-game set with the Rangers and, of course, narrowly avoiding a sweep at the hands of our Friars. In other news, Bob Brenly is still an ass:

San Diegan Adam Jones, in the midst of a 4-for-20 week that saw his ridiculous early-season batting line cool a bit, made waves by saying that Manny Machado’s bad rep is race related:

Giants (7-10) right the ship?

After dropping two-of-three to our swag-laden squad, the Giants had the good fortune of hosting the Colorado Rockies, who can seemingly do nothing right this season. The Gigantes came out on top of an 18-inning affair on Friday night that must have amounted to 5 hours of the most meaningless baseball ever played, because it’s hard to imagine either of these teams going anywhere.

Tyler Austin, the Giants latest attempt to band-aid their porous outfield lineup, avoided the IL after an MRI on his wonky elbow came back clean.

Colorado Rockies (4-12) are in free fall

A 1-5 week was given a snowy cap with a sterling performance from German Marquez on Sunday.

Marquez was perfect into the 6th, and had the no-no all the way into the 8th inning. He was just the second starter to pitch into the 9th this season, which is f-in crazy, but his excellence is just a small ray of light in the maelstrom that has been Colorado’s season thus far. Their victory today snapped an 8 game losing skid, and fans at Purple Row are doing some serious handwringing.

The Rockies injured list includes Daniel Murphy, David Dahl, Ryan McMahon, and four pitchers—in other words, about a third of their roster. Their depth is being tested, and their rotation—Marquez aside—has been pretty smelly.

This is all good news for us, of course, as we begin a series with this battered squad on Monday evening at 7:10 PM, Petco Park time.