But only two and a half games out. This is a very good division, even if it doesn't show up in the overall division record of 49-46.
Check out these on base percentages achieved and allowed by each NL West team, along with differential.
SFG --- 0.335 -- 0.290 (+45)
AZD --- 0.346 -- 0.333 (+13)
SDP --- 0.317 -- 0.306 (+11)
LAD --- 0.360 -- 0.352 (+08)
COL --- 0.336 -- 0.332 (+04)
All positive! There is a similar story for slugging achieved and allowed.
SFG --- 0.415 -- 0.326 (+89)
COL --- 0.449 -- 0.364 (+85)
LAD --- 0.455 -- 0.425 (+30)
SDP --- 0.392 -- 0.375 (+17)
AZD --- 0.465 -- 0.471 (-06)
Only the Snakes are doing worse than their opponents. I suppose the Giants come out as the best team in the early going, if you look at OBP and SLG differentials, but it's early. Things will change. I don't think all these positive number will remain all year. The Dodgers have time to turn it around, though I often doubt that they will.
Doubt is not certainty, though. I wouldn't say I have given up, or anything like that. I've shifted into a different mode of thinking, though. I've shifted the Dodgers from favorite to win the division to long-shot. Or perhaps medium-shot. The pitching is so uneven, and where will help come from? Unless there is a shocking mid-season acquisition, help can only come from internal improvement. I'm looking at you, Chad Billingsley. And he's looking back, or his Sunday box score is, anyway, asking if I saw that game. I did not, unfortunately, but I heard some of it, and I know he had a strong and efficient game. I almost think I would rather have had that 0-1 loss in which Billingsley set the foundation for a May resurgence than a 9-8 win in which he stunk again. Even better would have been a 9-1 win, I suppose, but the Dodgers don't appear to be that kind of team this year.
I take comfort in getting a lot of these east coast games out of the way. It would be nice if the Dodgers could do better than 1-2 in one of these series, but at least they don't get swept. They're still in the race. They are 4-2 when Vinny calls the games. Just get back to the west coast and play at a decent hour and get Vinny behind the mic and all will be well agian, I feel. In the meantime, maybe they can win the series against the Mets.
Maybe. And maybe Juan Pierre will collect an extra base hit before the year is over. So far, for the White Sox, with 72 at bats, Juan Pierre is batting 0.222, and slugging 0.222. If there was a way to slug lower than one's batting average I think Juan Pierre would find a way to do it. Pierre only has 1 RBI on the season, too. But he does have 9 stolen bases, so he is playing his game. Pierre knows how to play his game. I think Pierre is going to have the most Juan Pierre-like season he's ever had this year. Remember that day last year when he collected four extra base hits in the same game? Remember that home run he hit a couple years ago? I find, as time passes, that I only remember the good things about Juan Pierre. I wonder why?