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Dodgers September review: Closing strong

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National League Tiebreaker Game - Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

A final month surge gave the Dodgers their sixth consecutive National League West title, and their September was so robust that it spilled over into October.

The Dodgers secured the division because they went 14-4 against the NL West in September, including 8-1 against the Rockies and pre-elimination Diamondbacks.

The offense scored nearly six runs per game in the final month and the four planned postseason starters posted a 2.71 ERA with a 4.93 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

At 19-9, September(/October) was the Dodgers’ best month of 2018.

Batter of September

The Dodgers offense came to play in the final month, with eight regulars posting an OPS of at least .900. With so many worthy candidates to choose from, our final monthly award goes to Max Muncy in a squeaker over Yasiel Puig. Muncy led the team in RBI and walks during the month while hitting five home runs, giving him 35 on the season. Puig slammed eight home runs, including a franchise record-tying five in a two-game stretch.

Pitcher of September

Walker Buehler closed out strong with a 1.62 ERA in the final month, including pitching into the seventh in the tiebreaker game without allowing a run. “Right now, he’s our best,” manager Dave Roberts said of the stellar rookie. Buehler narrowly beat out Hyun-jin Ryu, who finished off his stellar season with a 1.50 ERA in his five September starts, with 30 strikeouts and three walks. He’ll have to settle for the consolation of a Game 1 NLDS start.

NL West September standings

Team W L Pct GB RS RA Rdiff
Team W L Pct GB RS RA Rdiff
Dodgers 19 9 0.679 ---- 166 98 +68
Rockies 19 10 0.655 ½ 156 100 +56
Padres 12 13 0.480 93 118 -25
Diamondbacks 8 19 0.296 10½ 98 134 -36
Giants 5 21 0.192 13 69 126 -57

Record: 19-9
166 runs scored (5.93 per game)
98 runs allowed (3.50 per game)
.724 pythagorean winning percentage (20-8)

Final NL West standings

Team W L Pct GB RS RA Rdiff
Team W L Pct GB RS RA Rdiff
Dodgers 92 71 0.564 ---- 804 610 +194
Rockies 91 72 0.558 1 780 745 +35
Diamondbacks 82 80 0.506 693 644 +49
Giants 73 89 0.451 18½ 603 699 -96
Padres 66 96 0.407 25½ 617 767 -150

Record: 92-71
804 runs scored (4.93 per game)
610 runs allowed (3.74 per game)
.624 pythagorean winning percentage (102-61)

The Dodgers started the month in second place in the West, a game behind Arizona and a half-game ahead of Colorado. They finished atop the division, a tiebreaker win separating them from the Rockies.

Game of the month

The game of September wasn’t even in September, though it all gets lumped in just the same. Facing their first tiebreaker game since 1980, the Dodgers returned home and got a fantastic start from Walker Buehler, who was asked afterward if he knew he was going to win that game. “I’m not going to say yes, but yes,” he said.

Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy each hit two-run home runs, adding to the Dodgers’ franchise record total for the season of 235.

Situational stats

Pinch hitting: Dodgers pinch hitters for in September were 16-for-84 with two doubles, two home runs, a triple and nine walks, hitting .190/.284/.310.

Runners in scoring position: The Dodgers for the month with RISP hit .287/.369/.496. They ranked seventh in MLB in September with 285 plate appearances in those situations.

Bases loaded: The Dodgers in September were 6-for-25 (.240) with a double with the bases loaded, driving in 11 runs.

September months in review: Aug. 27-Sep. 2 | Sep. 3-9 | Sep. 10-16 | Sep. 17-23 | Sep. 24-Oct. 1

The month ahead

Playoffs! The Dodgers will start things by playing the Braves in the NLDS, beginning Thursday at Dodger Stadium.

Stats

September batting

Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP SH SF PA BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP Player
Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP SH SF PA BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP Player
Freese 39 9 15 2 1 2 9 0 0 6 16 2 0 0 47 0.385 0.489 0.641 1.130 0.619 Freese
Puig 65 12 19 2 0 8 16 2 1 7 11 0 0 0 72 0.292 0.361 0.692 1.053 0.239 Puig
Taylor 58 16 20 5 0 3 9 0 0 9 20 0 0 0 67 0.345 0.433 0.586 1.019 0.486 Taylor
Muncy 68 17 20 2 1 5 20 0 0 16 23 1 0 0 85 0.294 0.435 0.574 1.009 0.375 Muncy
Hernandez 72 17 25 3 2 2 7 1 0 12 10 0 1 0 85 0.347 0.440 0.528 0.968 0.383 Hernandez
Pederson 67 12 18 5 0 6 8 0 1 5 24 1 0 0 73 0.269 0.329 0.612 0.941 0.324 Pederson
Turner 102 19 32 12 0 3 12 0 0 15 17 2 0 1 120 0.314 0.408 0.520 0.928 0.349 Turner
Kemp 56 7 19 4 0 3 16 0 0 1 14 0 0 0 57 0.339 0.351 0.571 0.922 0.410 Kemp
Bellinger 80 10 21 2 1 4 13 4 1 11 20 1 0 0 92 0.263 0.359 0.463 0.821 0.304 Bellinger
Grandal 71 7 18 6 1 2 8 0 0 13 22 0 0 1 85 0.254 0.365 0.451 0.815 0.333 Grandal
Machado 109 15 30 8 1 4 19 1 0 8 14 0 0 1 118 0.275 0.322 0.477 0.799 0.283 Machado
Dozier 46 4 4 3 0 1 5 1 0 5 14 1 0 1 53 0.087 0.189 0.217 0.406 0.094 Dozier
Starters 833 145 241 54 7 43 142 9 3 108 205 8 1 4 954 0.289 0.375 0.526 0.900 0.336 Starters
Farmer 5 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 6 0.200 0.333 0.600 0.933 0.333 Farmer
Barnes 25 6 6 0 0 3 6 1 1 1 9 0 0 0 26 0.240 0.269 0.600 0.869 0.231 Barnes
Verdugo 27 4 6 1 0 0 1 0 0 3 7 0 0 0 30 0.222 0.300 0.259 0.559 0.300 Verdugo
Toles 7 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 0 0 0 8 0.143 0.250 0.143 0.393 0.333 Toles
Utley 18 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 6 1 0 0 22 0.000 0.182 0.000 0.182 0.000 Utley
Gale 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 Gale
Locastro 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ----- ------ ------ ------ ------ Locastro
Bench 84 17 14 1 1 3 8 6 1 8 29 2 0 0 94 0.167 0.255 0.310 0.565 0.212 Bench
Pitchers 54 4 11 1 0 0 5 0 0 5 21 0 2 0 61 0.204 0.271 0.222 0.493 0.333 Pitchers
Offense 971 166 266 56 8 46 155 15 4 121 255 10 3 4 1109 0.274 0.359 0.490 0.849 0.326 Offense

September pitching

Pitcher G GS W L Sv IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP ERA WHIP FIP Pitcher
Pitcher G GS W L Sv IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP ERA WHIP FIP Pitcher
Ryu 5 5 3 2 30.0 30 9 5 3 3 0 30 0 1.50 1.100 2.80 Ryu
Buehler 6 6 2 1 39.0 18 9 7 2 12 0 45 2 1.62 0.769 2.64 Buehler
Kershaw 6 6 3 0 37.0 35 18 16 6 9 0 31 0 3.89 1.189 4.36 Kershaw
Hill 5 5 5 0 30.0 19 13 13 5 5 0 37 0 3.90 0.800 3.40 Hill
Stripling 4 4 0 3 11.7 15 9 9 4 5 0 15 0 6.94 1.714 6.37 Stripling
Wood 2 2 0 1 8.7 13 8 7 1 4 1 9 1 7.27 1.962 4.01 Wood
Starters 28 28 13 7 0 156.3 130 66 57 21 38 1 167 3 3.28 1.075 3.58 Starters
Venditte 8 0 0 7.7 2 0 0 0 2 1 2 1 0.00 0.522 3.46 Venditte
Urias 3 0 0 4.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 0.00 0.250 -0.30 Urias
Chargois 1 0 0 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.000 -0.80 Chargois
Cingrani 2 0 0 0.3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 6.000 12.20 Cingrani
Stripling 1 0 0 0.3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 3.000 3.20 Stripling
Baez 11 0 0 10.0 6 1 1 1 3 0 7 0 0.90 0.900 4.00 Baez
Fields 8 0 0 6.7 5 1 1 0 2 0 5 0 1.35 1.050 2.60 Fields
Floro 8 1 0 5.0 6 1 1 0 4 1 6 0 1.80 2.000 2.60 Floro
Rosscup 9 0 0 4.7 2 1 1 0 3 0 10 0 1.93 1.071 0.84 Rosscup
Jansen 13 1 0 5 12.3 8 5 4 3 2 0 15 2 2.92 0.811 4.90 Jansen
Ferguson 8 2 0 7.0 8 3 3 3 2 1 7 0 3.86 1.429 7.20 Ferguson
Maeda 13 1 2 1 11.3 11 6 5 2 1 0 16 2 3.97 1.059 3.46 Maeda
Alexander 13 0 0 1 6.7 8 3 3 1 2 0 7 0 4.05 1.500 3.95 Alexander
Wood 6 1 0 3.7 2 2 2 0 1 0 4 1 4.91 0.818 2.65 Wood
Madson 9 0 0 8.3 10 6 6 1 1 0 13 0 6.48 1.320 2.00 Madson
Garcia 3 0 0 1.3 1 1 1 0 1 0 2 0 6.75 1.500 2.45 Garcia
Axford 2 0 0 0.3 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 27.00 12.000 3.20 Axford
Relievers 118 0 6 2 7 90.7 77 32 29 11 24 3 103 7 2.88 1.114 3.43 Relievers
Totals 146 28 19 9 7 247.0 207 98 86 32 62 4 270 10 3.13 1.089 3.52 Totals