Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 12/17/14
Everyone, myself included, assumed that the Los Angeles Dodgers would run away with the NL West. Two months into the 2014 season, a team is running away with the division, but it’s not the Dodgers – it’s the 2010 and 2012 World Champion San Francisco Giants. After rallying to beat the Mets on Friday night, the Giants are now 40-21, a whopping 8.5 games up on the Dodgers in the division. They’ve lost one series since the end of April. And their upcoming schedule isn’t exactly a struggle – they have three tough series, against the Nationals, Cardinals, and Athletics, but the rest of their games are against teams languishing around the .500 mark or worse. Game of the Night: Giants 4, Mets 2. Speaking of the Giants, they had the pleasure of hosting one of the most snake bitten teams in the National League on Friday night. Matt Cain started off very well for San Francisco, allowing just two hits over his first six innings, but he struggled in the seventh by giving up a lead off double to Matt den Dekker and a two-run homer to Daniel Murphy, propelling the Mets to a 2-1 lead. But in the bottom of the inning, the Giants tied the game with a Brandon Crawford RBI single against an equally as good Jon Niese. In the eighth, Carlos Torres replaced Niese and immediately walked Angel Pagan to lead off the inning. After a Hunter Pence ground out, Buster Posey blasted a homer to left center to give the Giants the lead. Sergio Romo set the Mets down in order in the ninth, and New York was handed yet another disappointing loss thanks to their bullpen. Pitching Lines of the Night: Tanner Roark dominated the Padres in Washington’s 6-0 win, tossing eight shutout innings while allowing three hits, walking none, and striking out 11. In Philadelphia’s 8-0 win in Cincinnati, Cole Hamels went 7 2/3 scoreless frames, giving up five hits, walking a pair, and striking out seven. Jason Hammel pitched the Cubs to a 5-3, 13 inning win over the Marlins, going seven shutout frames while allowing six hits, walking one, and striking out eight. Erik Bedard pitched well for the Rays in their 4-0 win over the Mariners, allowing four hits over six scoreless innings, punching out eight while walking one. Dallas Keuchel stayed hot for the Astros in their 5-4 win over the Twins, tallying six shutout innings while giving up five hits, two walks, and striking out six. Hitting Lines of the Night: Dee Gordon spurred the Dodgers to a 7-2 win over the Rockies, going 3/4 with two triples, two runs, three RBI, a walk, and a stolen base. Jason Heyward had a nice night for the Braves in their 5-2 win over Arizona, going 3/4 with a homer, a walk, three runs, and three RBI. Russell Martin sparked the Pirates offense in their 15-5 blowout win over the Brewers, going a perfect 3/3 with a double, a walk, three runs, and four RBI. In Cleveland’s 6-4 loss to Texas, Asdrubal Cabrera went 3/5 with a double, a homer, and two runs scored. Adam Dunn hit well in Chicago’s 8-4 loss in Anaheim, going 3/5 with a homer and three RBI. Other Games: The A’s beat the Orioles 4-3 in 11 innings. The Blue Jays topped the Cardinals 3-1. The Red Sox fell to the Tigers 6-2. The Yankees doubled up the Royals 4-2. Today’s Games: Mark Buehrle and the Blue Jays host the Cardinals. Scott Feldman starts for the Astros in Minnesota. Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs host the Marlins. Matt Garza gets the nod for the Brewers in Pittsburgh. Alex Cobb and the Rays host the Mariners. Alfredo Simon gets the nod as the Reds host the Phillies. Zack Greinke starts for the Dodgers in Colorado. Sonny Gray starts for the A’s against the Orioles. Jon Lester and Max Scherzer will duel in Detroit. Danny Duffy and the Royals host the Mariners. Bartolo Colon and Tim Hudson square off in San Francisco. Andrew Cashner returns from the DL for the Padres against the Nationals. Ervin Santana starts for the Braves in Arizona. Chris Sale gets the nod for the Angels in Anaheim. National TV: Cardinals-Blue Jays (1 PM, MLB Network), Athletics-Orioles (7 PM, Fox), Red Sox-Tigers (7 PM, Fox), Yankees-Royals (7 PM, Fox), White Sox-Angels (10 PM, MLB Network), Braves-Diamondbacks (10 PM, MLB Network) Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

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