Personal milestones to watch in NL West

August 15th, 2019

The National League West has long since been decided for 2019. But within the division, there are still a handful of individual races that will take center stage over the season’s final month and a half.

The Dodgers appear poised to wrap up their seventh straight division crown by mid-September (though Los Angeles still must lock up home-field advantage, and the NL Wild Card race remains as tight as ever). But there are plenty of personal achievements on the table, too.

With that in mind, here's one prominent individual milestone being chased on each club.

D-backs: Escobar could top RBI leaderboard

The D-backs have only had one RBI champ in franchise history -- Paul Goldschmidt in 2013. When he was dealt to St. Louis last offseason, there were serious questions about who might fill Arizona's run-producing void.

has picked up some of that slack. His 94 RBIs were tied for third most in the NL entering play Wednesday, trailing only Pittsburgh's Josh Bell and Atlanta's Freddie Freeman.

Escobar still seems like an unlikely contender to lead the NL in RBIs, but if he continues to produce as he has recently, his bat could keep the D-backs afloat in the NL Wild Card hunt.

Dodgers: Kershaw set to pass Koufax

Earlier this season, passed Sandy Koufax on the Dodgers' all-time strikeouts leaderboard, moving into third place behind Don Sutton and Don Drysdale. With his victory over the Marlins on Wednesday, Kershaw tied Koufax with 165 wins.

With his next victory, Kershaw will move into sole possession of fifth place on the Dodgers' all-time wins list, trailing Sutton, Drysdale, Dazzy Vance and Brickyard Kennedy. There's also a longshot chance that Kershaw gets the 73 strikeouts he'd need to tie Drysdale for second on the Dodgers' all-time strikeout list.

(Another Dodgers milestone worth watching is Kenley Jansen's pursuit of 300 saves. He's currently six shy and would be the 30th pitcher in MLB history to reach that mark.)

Giants: Bochy sets sights on 2,000

When Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced his plans to retire after the 2019 season, the odds seemed stacked against him reaching 2,000 victories. The Giants needed 74 wins, and they were coming off a 73-win season with a number of question marks entering the year.

The tone around that number sure has shifted with the Giants' performance over the past few months. Now, Bochy seems like a lock to reach 2,000.

The Giants need 14 wins in their final 41 games to assure that Bochy reaches that mark. All 10 managers who have done so are in the Hall of Fame. (Bochy, of course, seems likely to join them, even if he somehow falls short.)

Padres: Tatis chases historic batting crown

Recently, has battled back soreness, and it seems likely that he will be placed on the 10-day injured list ahead of San Diego's series opener on Friday in Philadelphia. Injuries, it seems, are the only thing capable of slowing him down.

If he can return over the next few weeks, Tatis might find himself chasing history. Tatis is currently hitting .317, putting him fifth in the NL in batting average.

In Major League history, only Ty Cobb and Al Kaline have won batting titles at age 20. When the season ends, Tatis will be younger than both Hall of Famers were when they claimed their crowns.

Rockies: Story's 20/20 quest

Rockies shortstop has 27 homers and 16 steals this season, putting him on pace to become just the second player in franchise history to hit the 20-20 mark in consecutive seasons. Carlos Gonzalez did so four years in a row, from 2010-13.

After he recorded just 15 steals in his first two big league seasons combined, Story has added a speed element to his game. He swiped 27 bags last year and leads the team by a wide margin this year.

Dante Bichette, who did so in 1994 and '96, joins Gonzalez as the only other Rockie with multiple 20-20 seasons. If Story can join that duo, he'd become the first shortstop with consecutive 20-20 seasons since his current teammate Ian Desmond did so from 2012-14 for Washington.