Propelled by Matt Kemp’s late-game heroics for a second consecutive day, the Los Angeles Dodgers reclaimed sole possession of first place in the National League West with Sunday’s 3-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It was a tightly-contested series to say the least, as all four games were decided by two runs or less. The winning team in each contest managed to score only three runs to boot, which is a testament to the strengths of both pitching staffs.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who tossed three scoreless innings in the series, offered high praise for the Diamondbacks and their improvements over the past two seasons. “Each year it seems like they’re getting better and better,” he said.
“This year is just a battle. You’re definitely going to be energetic to win this series but also be in first place.”
While the Dodgers managed to gain three full games on the Diamondbacks over the weekend, Jansen isn’t declaring the NL West race over just yet. “We’ve still got to play,” Jansen added.
“There’s a lot of ballgames left. You can’t think about that. I mean, if you think that, I think we’re thinking wrong. If we think we sent them a message, no. They’re not going to give up even though they have a tough schedule. We’ve just got to keep playing our game.”
As Jansen points out, the Dodgers have a considerably easier schedule when compared to the Diamondbacks’ for the remainder of September.
Despite this, the NL West race will almost certainly be determined on how well each team performs against divisional rivals from here on out.
The Dodgers and Diamondbacks are scheduled to do battle one more time in the regular season, with a three-game series set to take place at Chase Field from Sept. 24-26.