In a week where the Los Angeles Dodgers labored through offensive woes, the club still took four of seven from the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks as part of a 10-game road trip.
If anything, that’s a testament to how well the Dodgers’ pitching staff has held up, as the group continued its surge in the month of September, leading all of Major League Baseball with a 2.40 ERA, 3.09 FIP, 3.33 xFIP and 2.9 WAR.
For the remainder of the regular season, the Dodgers will only face teams within the National League West, including six more games against the San Francisco Giants. To say it’s the stretch run would be an understatement.
Let’s take a look at which players found success and those that scuffled over the last two series of play.
Yasmani Grandal: The switch-hitting catcher struggled to say the least last week. In 25 plate appearances, Grandal slashed .120/.120/.160 with eight strikeouts and one double.
He was out of action on Saturday and Sunday to rest a sore right elbow, so perhaps Grandal’s slump correlates with the minor injury.
Adrian Gonzalez: Entering Sunday, Gonzalez posted a slash line of .154/.241/.154 over the last week of action.
He did, however, come through with a clutch, pinch-hit, bases-clearing double on Sunday to even up the score at seven in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Andre Ethier: Still looking to find his stride since being activated from the disabled list, Ethier battled through a rough week. In 13 plate appearances (five games), the outfielder reached base just twice (one single, one walk; .154 on-base percentage).
On the bright side, he only struck out three times — making contact in most of his trips to the batter’s box.
Kenta Maeda: In two starts last week — facing the Miami Marlins and Diamondbacks — Maeda pitched to an excellent 2.45 ERA and 2.60 FIP in 11 innings.
For the second time this season, he outperformed former Dodgers ace Zack Greinke, and figures to be a vital part of the postseason rotation.
Chase Utley: The ageless veteran broke out of a tedious slump this week, batting .267/.313/.375 (.286/.333/.429 prior to pinch-hitting on Sunday) with four doubles and four runs scored.
Needless to say, if Utley can consistently produce in a similar fashion leading up to the postseason, it will be a huge boon to the club.
Justin Turner: Accumulating 31 plate appearances, Turner put up a solid .484 slugging percentage — totaling three doubles, one triple and a home run, while scoring four runs and driving in six RBIs.
Josh Reddick: Reddick was one of three Dodgers players to post a wRC+ of over 100 last week (minimum 20 plate appearances), batting .304 and tallying two doubles.
Clayton Kershaw: The lefty impressed in what was a rain-shortened start against the Yankees. In five innings pitched, Kershaw allowed just one hit over five innings — punching out five batters without yielding a walk.
Kenley Jansen: Despite dealing with right wrist stiffness, Jansen was his typical dominant self.
He allowed one run in three innings, punching out six batters, picking up two saves and posting a negative FIP in the process (-0.86).
Corey Seager: It was a relatively quiet week for Seager (.515 on-base plus slugging in 36 plate appearances), but the shortstop became the first Dodgers rookie in history since the team moved to Los Angeles to surpass the 180 hits mark in a season — edging out Steve Sax.
Howie Kendrick: After a slow start to the week, Kendrick picked up three hits in the series finale at Chase Field, boosting his average to .333 during the span (7-for-21).