|The Giants will soon be the ones being chased in the standings -- if the Dodgers' slide continues. (Getty Images)|
What a difference a few weeks make. With Kemp still on the shelf, his teammates have hit a rough patch. A really rough one. They have lost seven of their last eight games and, worse, have company in the NL West race.
The Giants have crept up to within one game of the Dodgers and could tie them with a win Wednesday. This could have happened earlier, but the Giants had a temporary rough patch themselves, losing series to the Mariners and Angels before winning four of their past five games.
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Meanwhile, we can't forget about the 2011 NL West champions. The Arizona Diamondbacks sit just five games back of the Dodgers. They haven't even played consistently good baseball for extended stretches much this season, and yet there they are, thanks to winning 12 of their last 18. We already knew this Arizona club has talent and several guys have been underachieving. Plus, phenom Trevor Bauer will take the hill for his major-league debut Thursday. So there's obviously reason to keep an eye on the D-Backs.
Three-team race? This has the makings of one, especially since they get to beat up on two of baseball's worst teams. We'll hold off on predictions until the trade deadline has passed, because it's doubtful any of these three teams is content to wait for the 2013 postseason.
And even if the Dodgers do get squeezed out, the season won't have been a total loss. Remember, they've rid themselves of Frank McCourt.
Rankings, comments and stats are through Tuesday, June 26. Feel free to contact me via email with comments: firstname.lastname@example.org