Look - no one's going to illuminate you
All the odds are stacked against you
You're just cavin' in, right there in front of me
It's a picture I don't ever want to see
Not too impressive. The Padres went 5-8 these last two weeks. None of their division opponents were able to gain any ground. Not even a lousy stinking half-game.
WEST W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA San Diego 40 33 .548 - 23-14 17-19 324 310 Arizona 37 37 .500 3.5 18-16 19-21 340 397 LA Dodgers 35 37 .486 4.5 19-17 16-20 325 341 San Francisco 30 41 .423 9 17-22 13-19 319 380 Colorado 22 48 .314 16.5 17-17 5-31 308 409I think this week we'll look at injuries.
1. San Diego Padres
The Padres have now had to DL three of their five starters: Tim Redding, Woody Williams, and now Adam Eaton. Williams is back in the rotation, and Redding is back on the roster. They've filled the holes with rookie Tim Stauffer and Darrel May and gotten by with it. The bullpen has been healthy, and has done an excellent job. Despite the injuries, the Padres still have the only decent staff in the division, and they did a fine job in June, the 7-14 record notwithstanding.
The Padres lost starting CF Dave Roberts for two weeks in April; he returned to the lineup just as SS Khalil Greene went down. All purpose backup Geoff Blum went out shortly after that, leaving the Padres without a shortstop for about a week. Immediately after the return of Greene and Blum, 2b Mark Loretta suffered a serious injury that will cost him from two to three months. Loretta went out at the end of May, and the Padres sag began shortly thereafter. The latest bad news is the loss of C Ramon Hernandez, who has been a workhorse for the Padres. They will fill with Miguel Ojedo and Robert Fick until he returns.
The Padres have had a terrible time of it in June, going 7-14 so far - at one point they lost 10 of 12. Their only series victory came when they took two of three in Minnesota. With Loretta out, and Greene and Burroughs struggling, they're trying to get by with a three man offense: Giles, Klesko, and Nevin. It's not working. They need some offense.
2. Arizona Diamondbacks
Jose Valverde opened the season on the DL, and by the time he was activated, Brandon Lyon had seized the closer's job and run away with it. OF Jose Cruz missed almost all of April with a back injury. In mid-May, Brandon Lyon went on the DL with an elbow problem. Last week, starter Russ Ortiz went out with a rib injury.
Compared to the Padres, the D'Backs have gotten off quite lightly. They matched the Padres 5-8 record over the past two weeks, to remain 3.5 games back. They still sport an eye-popping run differential: they've allowed 57 more runs than they've scored. A month ago, I noted that much of the odd run differential came from just four games when Arizona got their brains beaten in by a combined total of 49 runs. They added another 10-0 loss since then. This is very, very strange. They're not particularly lucky in close games - it's just that every couple of weeks they get beaten absolutely senseless. Weird.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers opened the season with Darren Dreifort on the DL, to the shock and astonishment of millions. More worrying was that they also began the season without OF Jayson Werth, and pitchers Brad Penny, Eric Gagne and Wilson Alvarez.
The Dodgers burst from the gate anyway, and a month later both Penny and Alvarez were back. But in May 3B Jose Valentin went out for a minimum of two months with three damaged ligaments in his knee. Antonio Perez and Mike Edwards would end up taking over 3B. Eric Gagne returned in mid-May, but at the end of the month starter Odalis Perez went on the DL with a shoulder problem. Jayson Werth was activated at the end of May, just as backup catcher Paul Bako was going on the DL. And then came June: the Dodgers lost outfielders Milton Bradley and Ricky Ledee; to add to their joy, pitchers Wilson Alvarez and Eric Gagne went back on the DL.
How does it compare to the Padres? Each team lost a starting infielder for an extended period (Loretta and Valentin). The Dodgers have been doing without outfielders, while the Padres kept losing infielders. The Padres lost their starting catcher, the Dodgers lost their backup. The Padres have taken hits to the rotation, the Dodgers to both the bullpen and the rotation.
It was a tough couple of weeks. The team went 4-9, and were lucky to lose just a single game in the standings.
4. San Francisco Giants
The Giants opened the season with just one player on the DL - but seeing as how the player was Barry Bonds, it was obviously a major problem. Especially as they'd just added a bunch of old guys to play with Bonds in an attempt to squeeze out another post-season appearance before Barry gets tired of it all.
Old guys get hurt, and Moises Alou went out for two weeks almost immediately. Before April was out, closer Armando Benitez's hamstring exploded and he will be out for a long time indeed. In early May, ace Jason Schmidt hit the DL after throwing 257 pitches over two starts. He was soon joined on the shelf by reliever Al Levine and the Giants' third ancient outfielder, Marquis Grissom, who hurt his knee climbing the stairs at Pac Bell. Levine, Grissom, and Schmidt all returned to action before the end of May. But in mid-June, Grissom went back on the DL with a strained hamstring and 3B Edgardo Alfonzo went with him, thanks to a strained quad. Two days after that, LaTroy Hawkins, acquired from the Cubs to help ease the loss of Benitez, went on the Dl with ulnar neuritis.
Well, what did you expect, anyway?
The Giants went 5-8 these last two weeks, matching the performance of the Padres and the D'Backs. This represented a turnaround - they had lost 10 of 12 the two weeks before that.
5. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies began the season with Garrett Atkins, Aaron Cook, Matt Merricks, Desi Relaford, Chin Hui Tsao on the DL - Atkins had won the 3B job in the spring and hurt himself in the final exhibition game. OF Dustin Mohr went down in the first week of the season with a strained calf. Relaford and Tsao were back within a couple of weeks, but LH Bobby Seay went on the DL immediately afterward. Garrett Atkins was activated at the end of April, and took over at 3B; Mohr returned the following day. Tsao went back on the DL in mid-May and was moved to the 60-day list. At the end of the month, they lost 2B Aaron Miles and RP Jose Acevedo.
In early June, Shawn Chacon injured his hammy running the bases. Bobby Seay was activated to take his roster spot, while Byung-Hyung Kim moved into the rotation. Then, in mid-June, the sky fell - SS Clint Barmes, the only good thing about the Rockies in 2005, broke his collarbone in a fall and will miss at least two months. Nobody even noticed C Todd Greene going on the DL the same day, or when OF Matt Holliday broke a finger a couple of days later. Just last week, RP Blaine Neal went on the shelf.
The Rockies are a bad team. Bad teams, by definition, are not capable of withstanding lots of injuries. The Rockies have lost three of their four starting infielders, their left fielder, and a rotation starter. They went 3-9 these past two weeks.
But Clint Hurdle was not the first manager fired this year! And I say, good. This mess isn't his fault.