The Los Angeles Dodgers finished their seven-game homestand 5-2 despite dropping the opener in each of the series. However, they didn’t receive any help from the Washington Nationals, who went to San Francisco and got swept in a four-game series after dropping two of three to the Dodgers.
As a result, the Dodgers enter Monday’s off-day with a slim 2.5-game lead over the Giants for first place in the National League West. San Francisco begins a seven-game road trip in St. Louis on Monday; the Cardinals are among the NL teams currently playing at a high level, winners in eight of their last 10 games.
With the calendar rapidly approaching September, more focus is being placed on the multiple division races across baseball and postseason implications. That of course includes the Dodgers, though manager Don Mattingly dismissed the idea he’s currently giving any thought to the pennant race.
“I think it’s way too early for anything like that,” he said after Friday’s win. “We’re just trying to win games. The pennant race for me is just every night being ready to play. It’s like that all season long, it just gets heightened as the season goes. I think that’s the beauty of playing every game the same all through the season.”
If the Dodgers relinquish their division lead to the Giants, they may be in danger of missing the postseason all together as the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs currently hold to two Wild Card spots; though the Dodgers as of Monday morning only trail the Cubs by one game.
The Dodgers still have seven games remaining against the Giants; Aug. 31 – Sept. 2 at home, then Sept. 28 – Oct. 1 on the road in the second-to-last regular-season series. Of the 45 games remaining on the Dodgers schedule, 20 are at home, where they’re 41-20.
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