September 2018: Battle For First Place

DodgersMonthly RecapsOpinion

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If you’ll remember back to September 1st, you’ll remember that the Dodgers were in second place by one game. The Diamondbacks were leading the division and the Rockies were half a game behind the Dodgers. Although we weren’t thinking about it yet, the Brewers and Cardinals held the two wildcard spots.

It didn’t take long, however, before the D-backs began to fade and the Rockies continued to climb the ladder. The Dodgers began the month of September with back-to-back wins against the Snakes. Matt Kemp was the hero of the series, blasting a home run in the eighth inning on September 1st, then hit a walk-off RBI double the next day.



From there, the Dodgers proceeded to drop two out of three games against the Mets. Sloppy defense and inconsistent offense were the keys to these losses. In the series, the Dodgers went 4-18 with runners in scoring position. When play ended on September 5, the Dodgers trailed Colorado by 1.5 games, with Arizona 2 games back.

From there, the Dodgers packed up and went on a long and grueling road trip. This road trip visited Colorado, Cincinnati, and St. Louis. The Dodgers took advantage of business in Colorado, winning 2 of three games (without Kenley Jansen).

But after that, things went off the rails. The Dodgers traveled to Cincinnati, where they looked horrible. In the first two games of the series, they went 4-17 with runners in scoring position and 14 runners left on base. Somehow, they managed to win the final game 8-1 and head into St. Louis with just a 1.5 game deficit.

In St. Louis, the Dodgers had a lot of work to do. At this point, Dodger fans were thinking about making it to the wild-card game. When the Dodgers began their series against the Cardinals, they trailed them by two games in the wild-card race. But in St. Louis, Yasiel Puig went crazy, hitting five homers in two games and putting the Dodgers into first place again.

After a slight hiccup in the final game of the series, the Dodgers continued to rake against the Rockies. They swept the Rockies at home, giving them a 2.5 game lead in the division. After that, the Dodgers slowed down a little against the Padres (winning 2 out of three) and the Diamondbacks (losing 2 of three).

At this point, I was panicking. The Dodgers were trailing by one game heading into the final game of the series. Both the Dodgers and the Rockies won on Friday night. This kept the Dodgers trailing by a game. On Saturday, the Dodgers won and the Rockies lost, bringing them into a tie for first place. In the final game, both teams won, forcing a tie-breaking game.

Although I already know how the tie-breaker ended, I won’t write about it here. After all, it happened in October not September.

Who’s Hot?

  • Kiké Hernández: Hernández has been learning from his “dad,” Chase Utley. He’s coming up with clutch hits exactly when the Dodgers have needed him. In September, he slashed .348/.438/.522. He drove in seven runs in the month, all of them coming in key situations.
  • Justin Turner: Turner’s been so good all year. If he hadn’t spent time on the DL, there would be a chance he could contend for NL MVP. In September, he slashed .316/.414/.531 with three homers and 12 RBI.
  • Rich HillI don’t usually mention win/loss record, but Hill went 5-0 in September. He had a 3.90 ERA with a .174 BAA and a 0.80 WHIP.

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