And if California slides into the ocean
Like the mystics and statistics say it will
I predict this motel will be standing
Until I pay my bill
WEST W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA San Diego 50 46 .521 - 29-18 21-28 425 427 Arizona 46 51 .474 4.5 23-27 23-24 427 516 LA Dodgers 43 52 .453 6.5 23-23 20-29 408 447 San Francisco 41 53 .436 8 21-28 20-25 418 480 Colorado 33 60 .355 15.5 24-23 9-37 410 523
Let's assume that San Diego plays .520 ball for the rest of the season. They'd finish at about 84-78. Teams with worse records have won divisions. The Padres may very well be better than that, but they're not really an outstanding team. Just this week, however, they got half their infield back off the Disabled List - Phil Nevin had missed 22 games, and Mark Loretta, out since May 18, had missed 53 games.
An 84-78 record from the Padres should be more than enough to win this sad-sack division. It's quite doubtful that any of the other teams will even manage to finish above .500, let alone catch the Padres. To finish at 84-78, Arizona would have to go 38-27 the rest of the way. Well, since June 1, Arizona has gone 16-29. In other words, they've been bad - they've been playing .356 ball for the last six weeks. Troy Glaus is still in the lineup, but he's hurting. The bullpen is mind-bogglingly awful. I'm not liking their chances.
The Dodgers are in even more of a bind. They need to go 41-26. Not a chance, people. There's just no way.
Since April 20, Los Angeles has a 31-50 record. That's 81 games, half a season, at a 100-loss pace. As you may recall, they came storming out of the gate like a house on fire, winning 12 of their first 14. People get out of your way when you are on fire, and we all looked on respectfully. But that hot start was a long time ago. It's kept their record looking respectable for quite some time; it's actually kept them within reach of the division lead. I suppose. But seriously, folks - you can only play .380 ball for so long before it catches up with you. Everybody else eventually pulls away, and you can't keep up with them.
Still, everyone knows what happened in Los Angeles this year had a great deal to do with a bewildering and relentless onslaught of injuries.
Opening Day DL
SP Brad Penny (until April 25)
RP Wilson Alvarez (until May 4)
RP Eric Gagne (until May 14)
LF Jayson Werth (until May 26)
Then they started playing the games:
3B Antonio Perez (April 9-May 21)
SP Elmer Dessens (April 20-June 16)
3B Jose Valentin (May 5-current)
SP Odalis Perez (May 15-July 6)
OF Jason Grabowski (May 21-June 8)
C Paul Bako (May 28-current)
CF Milton Bradley (June 4-current)
RP Wilson Alvarez (June 7-current
OF Rickey Ledee (June 8-July 9)
RP Eric Gagne (June 16-current)
SS Cezar Izturis (June 30-July 16)
RF J.D. Drew (July 5-current)
RP Kelly Wunsch (July 9-current)
Plus, 2B Jeff Kent suffered a hamstring injury on July 5 - he missed 3 games, and was moved over to play 1B for another 4.
Do Blue Jays fans sympathize, after their own Season From Hell in 2004?