The Dodgers put the National League West race to bed with a dominant August, then cruised in a mostly restful final month to finish off their third straight 100-win season in a row.
Here’s a look at the season’s final month, with the October 1 regular season finale for our purposes counting as “September.”
Dodgers in September
152 runs scored (5.24 per game, 6th in MLB)
114 runs allowed (3.93 per game, 6th in MLB)
.629 pythagorean win percentage (18-11)
Final season numbers
906 runs scored (5.59 per game, 2nd in MLB)
699 runs allowed (4.31 per game, 11th in MLB)
.616 pythagorean win percentage (100-62)
The Dodgers in September had their worst power output of the season with a .164 isolated power (which is slugging percentage minus batting average), compared to .204 over the first five months.
Just imagine how low it might have been if J.D. Martinez didn’t come off the injured list to hit eight home runs. He went on a hitting spree with a .333/.371/.679 line and 25 RBI in only 21 games, allowing him to reach triple digits in RBI on the season, part of the first Dodgers quartet of 100-RBI players in franchise history.
In total, the Dodgers were sixth in the majors in scoring per game in September, so it wasn’t all bad, though they only had two other hitters besides Martinez higher than a .775 OPS. Freddie Freeman was at .869 and Kolten Wong in his 34 plate appearances was at .853.
After one of the greatest months in Dodgers history in August, Mookie Betts tailed off considerably in the final month, hitting .244/.393/.326 with four doubles and one home run.
Will Smith (.203/.327/.329) and David Peralta (.203/.239/.313) cratered in September.
Miguel Rojas did continue his second-half resurgence, hitting .300/.338/.429 over the season’s final month.
From opening day through the end of August, Dodgers pitchers struck out 22.6 percent of batters faced, ranking 17th in the majors. But in September, they were fifth in the majors with a 25.3 percent strikeout rate.
Bobby Miller had his best month in this regard, leading the team with 40 strikeouts (with a 28.4-percent rate). Emmet Sheehan returned after a month into the minors by pitching himself into playoff relevance with 34 strikeouts in 22 innings and a team-best 39-percent strikeout rate that looked a lot like his first two months of the season in Double-A Tulsa. Those two each had career-high strikeout games at Coors Field, as did Ryan Pepiot.
Joe Kelly struck out 12 of his 26 batters faced in September. Caleb Ferguson had a nightmare series last week at Coors Field that saddled him with a 6.97 ERA for the month, but during September he did strikeout 15 with a 31.9-percent rate.
Michael Grove even returned from the injured list for the last week and a half in a bid for the playoff bullpen, and struck out 35.3 percent of his 17 batters faced in five scoreless innings in September, all in short relief appearances.
The zero crew
Shelby Miller did not allow a run in 11 innings in September. Neither did Brusdar Graterol in his 10⅔ innings during the month, but that merely extended Graterol’s scoreless streak to 25 innings. He last allowed a run on July 24.
Ryan Brasier allowed a pair of unearned runs during the month but nothing else in his 11 innings. That’s 32 innings of a zero ERA out of three playoff relievers.
The group of Evan Phillips, Graterol, Brasier, Ferguson, Alex Vesia, Shelby Miller, and Joe Kelly combined for a 1.77 ERA with 78 strikeouts against only 10 unintentional walks in 71⅓ innings in September. That is getting it done.