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A look back at how Dodgers did chasing the playoffs in September

Dodgers have made the playoffs seven times since the Wild Card era began

Jansen raises his arms in celebration of clinching 2013 Western Division
Jansen raises his arms in celebration of clinching 2013 Western Division
Norm Hall

The Dodgers are in the hunt for their sixth Western Division title since 1995.  The good news is that when they have led the division going into September, they have made playoffs six out of seven times, once as a wild card.

The 1997 season was the only one where the Dodgers had a lead and did not make the playoffs.  In fact they ended up in a tie for what would be now the second wild card.

Year Record on 8/31
Place Games Ahead/Behind September Record Final Record Place Games Ahead/Behind
1995 61-56 First 1/2 game 17-10 78-66 First 1
1996 74-61 Second 1 16-11 90-72 Second - Wild Card 1
1997 78-60 First 2 1/2 10-14 88-74 Second 2
2004 77-54 First 5 1/2 16-15 93-69 First 2
2006 71-62 First 3 17-12 88-74 First - Wild Card Tied
2008 67-70 Second 2 1/2 17-8 84-78 First 2
2009 78-54 First 5 1/2 17-13 95-67 First 3
2013 80-55 First 10 1/2 12-15 92-70 First 11
2014 77-60 First 2 1/2

What will happen next remains to be seen, the Dodgers and Giants each have three series with a team over .500, two of them are against one another while the third one is with another playoff contender.  The Giants have played slightly above .500 ball against NL West teams while the Dodgers have done well against their NL West competition.

Including 2004, the Dodgers have gone to the last few games to clinch a playoff spot.  Only in 2013 (where they held a double digit lead from the beginning of the month), did the Dodgers clinch early.