Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/14/14
If I had told you back on March 31st that the first 2013 series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies would pit the NL West’s first place team versus the fourth place team, it would have made sense to assume the free-spending Dodgers would be the top dog while the Rockies, winner of just 64 games last year, would be fighting to stay out of the cellar. Wrong. Left Fielder Carl Crawford is batting .307 and his surgically repaired elbow seems fine. As it turns out it is the Rockies who are staring down at the Dodgers. Colorado is currently tied with Arizona for the division lead at 15-10 while the Dodgers are in fourth place with a 12-12 record.  It is the first time the Dodgers have been back at .500 since they were 7-7 on April 16th. It would be nice if the Dodgers could finally get on track with a series win over an NL West rival; they are currently 4-8 versus the rest of the West this young season.  Of course, it might be a stretch to call the Rockies a “rival” in the truest sense of the word. The Rockies are 28-44 versus the Dodgers the last four years, including winning only 4 of 18 games against the Dodgers in 2009 when both teams made it to the postseason.   I guess the chance to still make the World Series when you play .222 against another team in your division shows how the wild card and interleague play have diminished the need for beating a rival head to head. So how is it the Rockies have started off so well?  For one, their offense happens to lead the NL in hits, runs scored, and batting average. The Dodgers rank 9th, 12th, and 5th respectively.  And after years of struggling to assemble a solid pitching staff, the Rockies have finally seen their minor league system and their usual assortment of journeymen jell into a somewhat decent rotation. “Home-grown” starting pitchers  Juan Nicasio and Jhoulys Chacin (currently on the DL) are a combined 6-0 on the season.  Veteran Jon Garland has given up three or less runs in five of his six starts. The only blemish for Garland came when he surrendered six runs against Atlanta in a game played in 30 degree weather. Garland is from Southern California. Monday’s pitching match-up is the Dodgers Ted Lilly versus Colorado’s Tyler Chatwood.  Lilly is 5-0 in his previous six starts versus the Rockies the last two years.  Chatwood will be celebrating a homecoming of sorts. He was born about 60 miles east of Los Angeles and started his career with the Angels. Living in the fast lane It is a good thing left fielderCarl Crawford is off to pretty solid start. Otherwise, Dodgers fans might be booing the alternative,  Yasiel Puig. Crawford is currently batting .307 and hit two runs in Sunday’s 2-0 win over the Brewers.  He was recovering from Tommy John surgery when camp opened and his presence in the opening day line-up was doubtful. When Cuban defector Yasiel Puig finished spring training with a  .517 batting average, some thought Puig would be the left fielder if Crawford remained on the DL. Now, Puig’s character has come into question. Puig, currently in Chattanooga Tennessee playing for the Dodgers Double A affiliate and batting .333,  was recently benched by  manager  Jody Reed  for an undisclosed “mental mistake.” And now, over this past weekend, Puig was arrested on suspicion of speeding and reckless driving in Chattanooga. The Dodgers signed the Cuban “defector” to $42 million deal last year. Guess he has enough to pay the ticket. Or better yet, he can ask Reese Witherspoon if that “Do you know who I am?” defense worked out for her.  
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Panthers coach replaces break-in victims’ Christmas presents

Cardinals Bruce Arians benches Logan Thomas on Christmas Day

Richard Sherman: Marshawn Lynch having MVP season

Curt Schilling tweeted advice to Johnny Manziel

Aaron Rodgers buys TVs for Packers teammates

Harbaugh smiled when asked about Michigan's bday tweet

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jackie Robinson West Little League accused of cheating

Police: Fire that burned down McClain's home 'suspicious'

Furniture store will refund purchases if OSU wins title

What each NFC team in the hunt should ask for from Santa

Is SI ashamed to mention Jameis Winston on its cover?

Kobe Bryant disappointed Lakers didn't get Rajon Rondo

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Quincy Acy ejected for throwing punch at John Wall

Billy Beane did not want to trade Josh Donaldson

Peyton Manning plans to be back with Broncos next year

WATCH: Blazers announcer botches Damian Lillard call

WATCH: P.K. Subban disguises himself, surprises kids for Xmas

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Packers game is a career defining moment for Stafford

A look inside Jason Grilli's contract with the Braves

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

WATCH: Bahamas Bowl ends on insane Hail Mary play

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Announcer botches call

Police: McClain fire 'suspicious'

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

Bahamas Bowl ends on crazy Hail Mary

49ers OT Davis takes shot at coordinator

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each Week 17 game

40 great Christmas-related sports names

Nick Mangold and dealing with feelings as a sports fan

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.