D-backs, Dodgers worth watching down the stretch 

September, 1, 2008
PHOENIX -- From a distance, the National League West is the breakdown lane, where the Diamondbacks and Dodgers prepared for this past weekend's showdown by being swept by the Padres and Nationals, disrespectfully.

The NL West teams are more than 60 games under .500 outside the division and 27-54 against the American League. The Dodgers, who had lost nine in a row on the road entering the series with D-backs, went into The Chase and beat Dan Haren and Brandon Webb and woke up in their own beds on Labor Day with the realization that, according to Elias Sports Bureau, the only team in a full season to have a losing record on Sept. 1 and make the playoffs were the 1995 Yankees.

The D-backs woke up Monday wondering about next weekend's series in Los Angeles realizing that Haren and Webb had lost consecutive starts against the Padres and Dodgers, and hopeful that Webb's reasoning that these two bad starts were related to the line drive he took in the chest Aug. 21 is accurate. After all, Webb has the most wins and innings pitched in the majors over the past three years, and he and Haren are tied for third in quality starts for a staff that leads the majors in that important statistic.