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Dodgers Week 23: A fleeting taste of first place

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LA won four of six games last week, but the two losses were to the team they’re chasing

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Dodgers climbed back into first place last week, finally reaching the top spot in the National League West on Wednesday, their first time leading the division in over four months. But it was short lived because they lost two of three games to the Giants over the weekend in San Francisco.

There are still four weeks and 25 games remaining on the schedule, so nothing is decided by any means. But that the Dodgers — who are tied for the second-best record in baseball, just to put this in perspective — aren’t ahead of the Giants has everything to do with how they’ve played against them.

Dodgers since the All-Star break

Opponent Dodgers record Games gained/lost
Opponent Dodgers record Games gained/lost
Giants 3-7 (.300) -4
non-Giants 27-9 (.750) +5

At the All-Star break, the Dodgers trailed in the division by two games, and now they are only one game back. But they’ve played the Giants in three series in the so-called second half, and have lost all three.

The Dodgers have done a better job gaining on the Giants not when they play them, but when they don’t. With 25 games left on the schedule, and not a single one against the Giants, that will have to continue for the Dodgers to win a ninth straight division.

Batter of the week

Corey Seager hit two home runs, doubled twice, and reached base over half the time.

Pitcher of the week

Max Scherzer had a tight hamstring on Wednesday, but still managed to beat the Braves with six scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and no walks.

Honorable mention goes to Blake Treinen, who pitched four times in high-leverage relief and totaled five scoreless frames. In three of his outings he recorded four outs, giving Treinen 12 relief appearances longer than one inning this season, including seven since the All-Star break.

Week 23 results

4-2 record
24 runs scored (4.00 per game)
18 runs allowed (3.00 per game)
.629 pythagorean win percentage

Year to date

86-51 record
692 runs scored (5.05 per game)
477 runs allowed (3.48 per game)
.664 pythagorean win percentage (91-46)

Miscellany

Third time’s a charm: Max Muncy homered twice last week. His solo shot in the first inning on Wednesday against Braves left-hander Max Fried was Muncy’s 30th home run of the season. Along with 35-homer seasons in 2018 and 2019, Muncy is the ninth Dodger to hit 30 or more home runs in a season at least three times, and the first one to do so since Gary Sheffield from 1999-2001.

Transactions

Monday: Evan Phillips was activated off the injured list, and Mitch White was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, the fourth day in a row a Dodgers pitcher was called up and sent down one day later.

Tuesday: Pitchers Ryan Meisinger and Jake Jewell were claimed off waivers from the Cubs a few days after getting designated for assignment by Chicago. Sheldon Neuse and Luke Raley were on the minor league injured list in Triple-A, but were placed on the major league 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster. No injury designation for either one, which likely means COVID-19-related.

Tuesday: In a minor league trade, the Dodgers acquired left-hander Andrew Vasquez from the Twins for catcher Stevie Berman.

Wednesday: Meisinger and Zach McKinstry were recalled once active roster limits expanded to 28 players.

Thursday: Vasquez was selected to the Dodgers, and Meisinger was optioned. Scott Alexander, out since July 20, was transferred to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

Saturday: Meisinger cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A, removing him from the 40-man roster.

Sunday: AJ Pollock was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right hamstring strain that’s expected to sideline him at least 2-3 weeks. Mitch White was recalled from Triple-A, which has implications for the upcoming series in St. Louis.

Game results

Week 23 batting

Player AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Player AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Seager 18 2 7 2 2 5 0 6 25 0.389 0.520 0.833 1.353
J.Turner 23 5 8 1 0 1 1 3 26 0.348 0.423 0.391 0.814
Muncy 24 2 5 0 2 2 0 2 26 0.208 0.269 0.542 0.811
Betts 22 5 4 0 2 2 2 5 27 0.182 0.333 0.455 0.788
T.Turner 23 2 6 1 1 2 0 2 27 0.261 0.333 0.435 0.768
Smith 18 1 4 0 1 3 0 3 21 0.222 0.333 0.389 0.722
Pollock 12 2 2 1 0 2 1 2 15 0.167 0.333 0.250 0.583
Bellinger 13 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 14 0.077 0.143 0.077 0.220
Taylor 20 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 22 0.050 0.091 0.050 0.141
Starters 173 20 38 5 8 19 4 25 203 0.220 0.320 0.399 0.719
Pujols 2 1 1 0 1 3 0 0 3 0.500 0.333 2.000 2.333
Barnes 5 2 3 0 1 1 0 0 5 0.600 0.600 1.200 1.800
McKinney 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
McKinstry 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Bench 12 3 4 0 2 4 0 0 13 0.333 0.308 0.833 1.141
Pitchers 9 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 11 0.111 0.111 0.111 0.222
Offense 194 24 43 5 10 23 4 25 227 0.222 0.311 0.412 0.723

Week 23 pitching

Pitcher G Record IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP FIP
Pitcher G Record IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP FIP
Scherzer 1 0-0 6.0 3 0 0 0 9 0.00 0.500 0.17
Urías 2 2-0 11.7 12 3 3 0 15 2.31 1.029 2.83
Buehler 2 0-1 10.0 11 8 8 3 6 7.20 1.400 5.47
Starters 5 2-1 27.7 26 11 11 3 30 3.58 1.048 3.21
Treinen 4 1-0, Sv 5.0 3 0 0 0 6 0.00 0.600 0.77
Bruihl 2 0-0 3.0 1 0 0 1 2 0.00 0.667 2.84
Knebel 2 0-0 2.7 3 0 0 0 2 0.00 1.125 1.67
Kelly 2 0-0, Sv 2.0 1 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.500 3.17
Jansen 2 0-0, Sv 2.0 0 0 0 2 2 0.00 1.000 4.17
Vasquez 2 0-0 1.7 1 1 0 0 3 0.00 0.600 -0.43
Price 1 0-0 1.7 2 0 0 3 1 0.00 3.000 5.57
Phillips 1 0-1 1.0 0 1 0 2 2 0.00 2.000 2.17
S.Greene 2 0-0 1.0 0 0 0 2 2 0.00 2.000 5.17
Vesia 3 0-0 1.7 2 1 1 0 1 5.40 1.200 9.77
Graterol 3 0-0 3.0 5 2 2 0 3 6.00 1.667 5.50
Bickford 4 1-0 2.3 2 2 2 2 2 7.71 1.714 10.88
Bullpen 28 2-1, 3 Sv 27.0 20 7 5 12 26 1.67 1.185 3.91
Totals 33 4-2 54.7 46 18 16 15 56 2.63 1.116 3.55

Previous reviews: Apr. 1-4 | Apr. 5-11 | Apr. 12-18 | Apr. 19-25 | Apr. 26-May 2 | May 3-9 | May 10-16 | May 17-23 | May 24-30 | May 31-June 6 | June 7-13 | June 14-20 | June 21-27 | June 28-July 4 | July 5-11 | July 12-18 | July 19-25 | July 26-Aug. 1 | Aug. 2-8 | Aug. 9-15 | Aug. 16-22 | Aug. 23-29

Up next

If the Dodgers ain’t starting, they ain’t departing this week, running the Garry Templeton gauntlet with four games in St. Louis followed by the Padres at home over the weekend. San Diego’s rotation is a total guess, as they have off days Monday and Thursday this week.

Dave Roberts said Albert Pujols will start against Cardinals left-handers on Tuesday and Thursday, on planned days off for Max Muncy and Corey Seager, respectively.

Week 24 schedule

Mon, Sep 6 Tue, Sep 7 Wed, Sep 8 Thu, Sep 9 Fri, Sep 10 Sat, Sep 11 Sun, Sep 12
Mon, Sep 6 Tue, Sep 7 Wed, Sep 8 Thu, Sep 9 Fri, Sep 10 Sat, Sep 11 Sun, Sep 12
at Cardinals at Cardinals at Cardinals at Cardinals vs. Padres vs. Padres vs. Padres
1:15 p.m. 4:45 p.m. 4:45 p.m. 10:15 a.m. 7:10 p.m. 6:10 p.m. 1:10 p.m.
Scherzer v. Jackson v. White v. Urías v. Buehler v. Scherzer v. TBD v.
Mikolas Happ (L) Wainwright Kim (L) Musgrove Paddack Snell (L)
SNLA SNLA SNLA SNLA/MLBN* SNLA SNLA SNLA
*MLB Network broadcast available out of market only