09/12/2008 1:06 PM ET
Jake Peavy: Watching out West
Padres ace excited to see how his division race pans out
Watching the final weeks of the season as the Diamondbacks and Dodgers battle it out for the NL West title should be fun. Both teams have a lot of positives. I just wish we were there battling with them right now.
Part of what makes the NL West race fun is that there aren't any Wild Card implications. Whoever loses goes home.
Los Angeles is the hotter team right now. After an eight-game losing streak near the end of August, they've turned their fortunes around and they're dangerous. They've struggled to score runs at times this year, but they've turned it on recently. When it clicks together, they're a good offensive club.
The addition of Manny Ramirez to that lineup has been huge. Even though he's just one guy, he's so good that he lengthens the lineup and makes the club that much more dangerous. He's one of the best right-handed batters ever, and he makes the hitters around him that much better.
It didn't get as much notice as the acquisition of Manny, but they also added another veteran bat in Casey Blake. So when the offense does struggle, it shouldn't last too long.
Arizona this season has had really strong pitching, with guys like Brandon Webb and Dan Haren at the top of the rotation. And I know they have faltered the last time or two going out there, but they have proven what they can do when it comes to pitching, and that is important down the stretch.
The bottom line now is that one of these two teams is going to win this division. And whichever team wins can be dangerous at the next level. They both have good pitching, and both teams can get hot and score some runs.
The key going down the stretch now for both teams is to try to win every game. All games are key at this point. These two clubs will have to strap it on and do what they can do to put as much pressure on the other teams as they can.
Unfortunately, our club and Colorado didn't play up to expectations in our division. Maybe we weren't as good as we thought we were coming out of the spring? I don't know what the answer is. We played well last year and we didn't this year. That's just baseball. Every year is its own year.
Two-time All-Star and 2007 Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy is second in the NL with a 2.63 ERA and 160 strikeouts in 160 2/3 innings this season.