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NL West Roundup

NL West Roundup on Todays Knuckleball

NL West Roundup: The Dodgers sustained some hits both figuratively and literally in St. Louis over the weekend and despite the best efforts of San Diego’s Odrisamer Despaigne on Sunday, the Padres remain the only active MLB franchise without a no-hitter.

 

The Mets Daniel Murphy ruined Despaigne’s bid at history with two outs in the eighth inning and extended the Padres’ 46-year streak to 7,264 games, but who’s counting? The good news for Padres fans is this was only the fifth career start for the Cuban defector Despaigne.

Dodgers fans expect good news everytime Clayton Kershaw takes the ball, but on Sunday in St. Louis the game’s premier ace not only allowed an uncharacteristic three earned runs but left the game with a no decision.

What does the next week of action have in store? Like a solid leadoff hitter our Weekly Roundup for the NL Westsets the table.

 

Los Angeles Dodgers (55-45, Tied-First)

After two of their star players were hit by pitches in consecutive days, the Dodgers can’t be too happy with the St. Louis Cardinals. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez was hit twice by Cardinals pitchers on Sunday night and exited the game in the ninth inning after taking an 0-2 98 mph Trevor Rosenthal fastball to the forearm/wrist area. Skipper Don Mattingly was visibly upset that Rosenthal and Matheny were not tossed after both teams were issued warnings earlier in the game when Kershaw retaliated the original Ramirez HBP by plunking Matt Holliday in the hip.

Yasiel Puig (hand) left Saturday’s game after being hit by a pitch earlier in the contest and didn’t play Sunday. X-rays revealed Puig didn’t suffer any breaks but he will be given another X-ray on Monday in Pittsburgh. Ramirez was also hit by the Cardinals in last year’s NLCS; he listed as day-to-day after X-rays came back negative late Sunday night.

Life doesn’t get any easier for the Dodgers as their road trip continues this week with three games in Pittsburgh and three more in San Francisco. Hyun-Jin Ryu will make two starts but the most intriguing matchup of the week may come on Friday night as Zack Greinke squares off against Tim Lincecum.

 

San Francisco Giants (54-44, Tied-First)

Tim Lincecum pitched well (7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER and 7 K’s) on Sunday but the Giants couldn’t solve Brad Hand or complete the sweep of the Marlins in Miami. Brandon Belt missed Sunday’s game after being hit in the face with a throw on Saturday, according to reports he was diagnosed with a concussion and placed on the 7-day DL. There’s no arguing with Belt’s productivity when he’s actually on the field, but to this point the Giants first baseman has missed 52 games this season. San Francisco considered placing Belt on the 15-day DL, so it’s likely he will miss more than just a week of games.

The Giants open a four game set in Philadelphia today before returning home to face the Dodgers on Friday. Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain will each make two starts for Bruce Bochy’s club

 

San Diego Padres (43-55, 11 GB)

At 105 years old, Padres fan Agnes McKee threw out the ceremonial first pitch then sat back (we think for a little while at least) and watched Despaigne make a remarkable bid at ending history before he left the game with a no-decision after David Wright singled home Daniel Murphy to tie the game on the very next pitch after the no-hit bid was broken up.

Like McKee, San Diego did walk off winners against the Mets after Seth Smith’s infield single in the bottom of the ninth. The Padres have to be pleased with the production from their young hurler as he sports a 2-1 record with a 1.33 ERA to go along with a 0.98 WHIP. Despaigne has also lasted longer than six innings in each of his five career starts.

The Padres play three games in Wrigley Field before traveling to Atlanta for a weekend series against the Braves. Eric Stults hears Pulp Fiction references and quotes every outing and the 34-year old will no doubt be bombarded both times he takes the ball this week.

 

Arizona Diamondbacks (43-56, 11.5 GB)

Kirk Gibson’s crew began the “second half” in a completely different fashion but it’s safe to say playing the Cubs in Phoenix is a little easier than facing the Dodgers Down Under. Nonetheless the Dbacks have slithered out of the cellar and are showing signs of promise.

Arizona begins the week with a three game set in Chase Field against the powerful Tigers but won’t have to deal with All-Star and reigning AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer before traveling to Philadelphia for a weekend series. Diamondbacks hitters are set to face Cliff Lee on Saturday unless the Phillies southpaw is traded before then, presumably to the Yankees. Vidal Nuno, the man the Yankees sent to Arizona in the Brandon McCarthy trade, will make two starts this week.

 

Colorado Rockies (40-58, 14 GB)

The hits keep coming for Colorado, in a miserable way. The Rockies were swept in Pittsburgh over the weekend as the lone bright spot in a disappointing season, Troy Tulowitzki, didn’t play on Sunday after leaving in the fourth inning on Saturday after pulling up slow while running out a ground ball. Tulo was diagnosed with a thigh cramp and said it’s “nothing serious” but the All Star in the midst of a career year has an extensive history of injuries.

Tonight Franklin Morales will make the first of two home starts this week when the Nationals come to the Mile High City for a three game set. The Rockies have an off day on Thursday before taking on the Pirates again for the weekend.

 

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