The Sad Truth about the NL West

Jim SheldonCorrespondent IMay 13, 2008

I know the Chicago Cubs are good. I know their lineup is maybe the best in the National League. And I know there's no maybe about it when Alfonso Soriano isn't pulling a Mark Prior every other month. And I definitely know it with Geovany Soto batting his way onto the All-Star team from the six-hole.

And I know Carlos Zambrano making $18 million looks like a bargain.

But jeez, is the entire National League West a Port-a-Potty?

The Padres needed a mercy rule Monday night, and if you want to know how the much-praised Arizona Diamondbacks came in here with the best record in baseball last Friday, it's because they won 17 games against the NL West.

You know how Houston got back into the NL Central race? By sweeping the Dodgers in Los Angeles and winning five of their last six against NL West teams.

The NL West is such a foot-wipe division that I'm off my Brandon Webb Cy Young man-crush.

Yeah, he's 8-0 with an ERA of 2.41, but five of those wins have come against NL West teams. What's more, another one of his wins came against Cincinnati, which is bad enough to be an NL West team.

In Webb's five wins against NL West teams, he has allowed seven earned runs, compared to eight earned runs in his other three wins against teams outside the division.

So, Webb has company: Carlos Zambrano.

I know, he just beat the same lame Padres that Webb beat, and I know that Zambrano also beat the same lame Reds, but Zambrano's ERA is better (2.03), he has faced tougher lineups, and the only reason he's 6-1 is sloppy bullpen work.

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