Only the Cardinals and the Reds enter the week with winning records entering the week. And Cincinnati would not have a record above .500 without its current three game winning streak.
The top individual achievement in the division was Jody Gerut, who hit for the cycle last week, becoming the sixth player in Brewers’ history to do so, and the first since Chad Moeller. The Chicago Cubs had a miserable road trip. They were swept by the Pirates and lost two of three to Cincinnati. The only win on the road trip came off rookie Starlin Castro’s six-RBI big league debut.
San Diego and San Francisco continue to duke it out atop the NL West. The Padres hold a half game lead of the Giants, but the two have many similarities in their records. Both teams have won six of its last 10; both teams are 8-7 on the road; and both teams have five losses at home. The series between the two teams beginning Tuesday will be a fun one to watch. They match up again next week for a short two-game series. Oh and by the way, Barry Zito is 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA for the Giants.
Colorado and L.A. are lurking 4.5 games back, but the Rockies face Philadelphia this week, which could make it tough to catch the division leaders.
The hottest team in the NL right now is the Phillies. The team has won eight of 10 and they have a stint of games against NL Central teams coming up. The stretch of games against the Brewers, Pirates and Cubs are a good opportunity for Philadelphia to pull away from the surging Nationals.
… That’s right the Nationals are in second place. Washington is methodically chipping away at division foes, and winning series. Nyjer Morgan and Adam Dunn are piling up extra-base hits and Livan Hernandez (4-1 1.04) ERA looks like his old self – his very old self. Closer Matt Capps has an ERA of .980. The Nats need Jason Marquis to start playing at a higher level and earning the money he’s making.
Philadelphia – Good hitting and great pitching, they have the formula to keep winning.
St. Louis – On a small down note lately, but the division behind them is too weak to be concerned.
San Francisco – Have been proving critics wrong so far, and a big series against the Padres would help continue to do so.
San Diego – See San Francisco.
Washington – It may be a bit premature, but things look a little sunnier in the nation’s capitol, at least on the ball diamond.