Pathetic, Pathetic NL West

KP Wee@kpwee1Senior Writer IAugust 9, 2008

The Minnesota Twins did their job on Saturday. The Los Angeles Dodgers didn't.

Minnesota, thanks to Delmon Young's two-run homer and Francisco Liriano's second win since being recalled from the minors, beat the Kansas City Royals 7-3 for their third straight victory.

The Twins' victory, couple with the Chicago White Sox's 6-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox, moved Minnesota back into first place. The Twins (65-51) are a half game up on the White Sox (64-51).

Meanwhile, the Dodgers could have moved past the Arizona Diamondbacks had they hung on to their lead against the lowly San Francisco Giants.

Of course, these were their long-time arch-rival Giants, who'd hurt them so many times in seasons past. (Yes, it is only August, but still...)

In fact, the Dodgers had two one-run leads, but couldn't hang on.

Manny Ramirez was in the middle of the action again, going 3-for-5 to up his NL batting average to .485 (16-for-33 with the Dodgers), and scored the first run of the night on pitcher Hiroki Kuroda's single.

Jeff Kent added a home run to lead off the 10th, leaving Los Angeles just three outs away from victory.

But the Giants put together a two-run rally, capped by Aaron Rowan's game-winning single, denying the Dodgers first place.

The first-place Diamondbacks have lost four straight, and have allowed 11 runs to the mediocre Atlanta Braves in back-to-back contests.

In Saturday's loss, Arizona also lost second baseman Orlando Hudson, who broke his left wrist trying to Brian McCann in the sixth inning.

Word is Hudson could be gone for the rest of the season, though he will be re-evaluated on Sunday.

And so much for Arizona starter Dan Haren (12-6), who was raked for 10 hits and six runs before being knocked out in Atlanta's 7-run sixth.

This came immediately after the D-Backs had given Haren a 3-2 lead in the last of the fifth, as the starter wasn't able to have a shut-down inning.

So much for the so-called "jungle karma", as Haren was a guest on The Jim Rome Show (aka "The Jungle") a couple days earlier, with Rome proclaiming the fact Haren and Brandon Webb would battle for the NL Cy Young Award.

The NL West surely is the biggest joke in baseball, as neither the D-Backs (59-58) nor Dodgers (58-58) want to take charge.

Either one of these teams will make the postseason, which would be a shame, if both continue to hover around the .500 mark.

But again, no sympathy here for the Dodgers' lack of run production (despite Ramirez). No sympathy for the D-Backs in losing Hudson, possibly for a while.

Either one of these teams could have gone out and picked up Barry Bonds, who is still unemployed and was, by the way, at the Dodgers-Giants game in San Francisco as part of the Jints' 50th anniversary celebration in the Bay Area.

In fact, Bonds, who signed autographs and was cheered on with a standing ovation by the crowd at AT&T Park, acknowledged first-year Dodger manager Joe Torre during his speech in the pre-game ceremony.

"I want to thank the Giants for inviting all these great guys," Bonds said during the ceremony, pointing to the Los Angeles dugout. "It's weird for me not to be in uniform with the Dodgers right there. You heard me Torre, I beat you before and I can beat you again. I haven't retired. Thank you."

Torre was seen tipping his cap at Bonds' comment.

Bonds later appeared in the broadcast booth for a couple innings and referred to Rowand as "Scott Rowand."

By the end of the game though, Rowand had the last laugh, thanks to his walk-off hit.

The Dodgers and D-Backs though, did not, as both suffered crushing defeats.

But no sympathy here.

(Source of Bonds' quote: The Associated Press - "Barry Bonds Joins Giants' Outfield Reunion")


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