With the National League West shaping into a rather close competition, the standard of baseball continues to rise. The Giants continue to lead the way, closely followed by the Rockies and the Dodgers. Early struggles leave the Padres and Diamondbacks in need of a resurgence. Here are the best plays, performances and highlights from the West this week.
The Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers’ second baseman, Dee Gordon continues to cause ‘havoc’ on the base pads. In a crucial series against the Giants, which the Dodgers eventually lost 3-1, Gordon was at least trying his best to catch the Giants. Prior to the season, Billy Hamilton was dubbed the speediest and most dangerous base stealer in the game, however, Gordon looks set to grab that title.
The San Francisco Giants
Regardless of any superlative defensive plays, big offensive plays or masterful pitching performances that the Giants may have pulled off in the last week, this home run from Brandon Hicks is historical. Why, you may ask? Well – Clayton Kershaw, arguably the best pitcher in the game has thrown well over 2100 amazing curveballs in his career. Yesterday, Hicks became the first person to ever hit a home run off a Kershaw curveball.
One of the hottest hitting teams in baseball can also play some serious defense, too. Carlos Gonzalez, one of the coldest hitters on the team – somehow – made a beautiful sliding catch in foul territory to rob Joey Votto of a hit with runners on the corners to end the inning. A potential gold glove winner this season?
San Diego Padres
Chase Headley, the catalyst of the Padres’ lineup, returned to the roster with a bang. Having been suffering from some injuries, he could be crucial if the Padres are to recover from their mediocre start. The home run which ultimately won the game for the Padres, also sparked the Marlins to DFA Carlos Marmol.
Whilst the Diamondbacks may be struggling, Chris Owings is showing why the D’Backs were right to make him their opening day shortstop. His bat hasn’t quite got going yet, but his glove is certainly working. Watch him make a terrific leaping grab to rob Dayan Viciedo of a hit. Worth mentioning: Chase Anderson had a dominant first ever major league start. Maybe there is some hope for the Diamondbacks in the West after all.