The Arizona Diamondbacks have taken over first place in the National League West. An impressive week of games not only shot Arizona north of the .500 mark, but has propelled them into becoming the leader of the division. A rebuilding year for the franchise has suddenly turned into much more, and the Diamondbacks are taking full advantage of a struggling group of N.L. West teams.
According to ESPN, Arizona is on a six-game winning streak that includes three wins against both the Houston Astros and the Colorado Rockies. Maybe more impressive is the fact that all six wins have come on the road, but it had to be nice to beat division-rival Colorado three straight times to win that mid-season series.
The Diamondbacks are returning home for seven games: three against the Florida Marlins and four against the Washington Nationals. Monday’s game will have Joe Saunders taking the mound. The pitcher picked up his first win of the season in the recent series against the Rockies. He will look to put together another strong start and possibly keep Arizona on a nice winning trend.
Out in the N.L. West, the San Francisco Giants had been holding on to first place thanks to their great starting pitching. Having catcher Buster Posey go down with a season-ending injury was about the worst thing that could have happened to the team, as it took out a weapon of the pitching staff and possibly their best hitter. Now the Giants have lost two games in a row and have fallen to 28-24 for the season.
The Colorado Rockies are currently 25-27, the Los Angeles Dodgers are 24-30, and the San Diego Padres are holding on to last place in the division with a 22-31 record. None of these teams are completely out of the playoff race, but this is the key time to start stringing wins together if any of them want to try to keep up with the division leaders. If the Diamondbacks keep winning with the great offense they have put together, they might be tough to catch later on in the race, though.
With Arizona shooting in to first place, the Diamondbacks become yet another surprise team in the Major League this season. The Cleveland Indians have been the biggest surprise, leading the American League Central with a 31-19 record now, but the Seattle Mariners are the hottest team in the A.L., winning eight of their last 10 games to threaten a take-over in the West. It would certainly be an interesting scenario where Seattle, Arizona, and Cleveland all make the playoffs.