Sure that last week was a drag, but the Dodgers still finished their 2016 season strong. They went 17-12 in September (which includes two days in October as well), starting the month with a 1½-game lead and ending it with a fourth straight National League West title, the first team in the division ever to do so.
The Dodgers’ 17 wins were their most for any month in 2016, and the winning percentage trailed only July (15-9, .625). The Dodgers ended the 2016 season with five straight winning months.
Batter of September
This time last year Joc Pederson was losing playing time and four months into a season-ending slump while trying to change his swing. This year he has been relatively consistent, including a strong finish in September, hitting .286/.430/.651 with seven home runs and 15 walks.
This almost could have been a combination award for right field, with Josh Reddick hitting .382/.417/.544 and Yasiel Puig hitting .281/.338/.561. The lefty/righty duo combined for nine doubles, six home runs, 19 runs scored and 19 RBI in the month.
Pitcher of September
Clayton Kershaw finally returned after missing over 10 weeks with a herniated disc in his back, and all he did was post a 1.29 ERA in 28 innings, with 27 strikeouts and two walks.
Rich Hill gets a mention with a 2.22 ERA to go with 36 strikeouts and five walks. Pedro Baez did not allow a run in September in 11 games, with 15 strikeouts and three walks in 11⅔ innings.
129 runs scored (4.45 per game)
99 runs allowed (3.41 per game)
.619 pythagorean winning percentage (18-11)
2016 final results
725 runs scored (4.48 per game)
638 runs allowed (3.94 per game)
.558 pythagorean winning percentage (90-72)
Game of the month
There was the five-homer game against old friend Zack Greinke on Sept. 5, and there was the comeback against the Giants bullpen after “Don’t Look at Me” Madison Bumgarner on Sept. 19, but it’s hard to top the final home game, on Sept. 25.
It was Vin Scully’s final home game, the culmination of a terrific celebratory weekend, and it featured a Dodgers comeback including Corey Seager tripling home the tying run in the seventh, then homering to tie the game with two outs in the ninth. Then, in a race with the Giants-Padres game in San Diego, Charlie Culberson hit the storybook walk-off home run in the 10th to beat the Rockies and clinch the division, as Scully put on his call, “the Dodgers get to celebrate on schedule.”
Pinch hitting: Dodgers pinch hitters were 17-for-78 with five doubles and two home runs in September, hitting .218/.307/.359. That was the best monthly OPS for Dodgers pinch hitters in 2016. It was a bad year of LA pinch hitters, hitting just .189/.283/.285.
Runners in scoring position: The Dodgers hit .239/.310/.418 with RISP for September, and hit .250/.331/.410 with RISP on the season.
Bases loaded: The team was 6-for-11 for the month, with two grand slams, hitting .545/.615/1.182 in September.
The month ahead
How long it lasts will be determined by how the Dodgers play. It starts with the NLDS, which opens in Washington D.C. for Games 1-2 against the Nationals on Friday and Saturday.
A look back