Dodgers Way Quick Hits: The Dodgers Sit Atop the NL West

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 14: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is congratulated by Manny Machado #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers after hitting home run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the second inning at Busch Stadium on September 14, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 14: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is congratulated by Manny Machado #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers after hitting home run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the second inning at Busch Stadium on September 14, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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The season is coming to close and the race for the NL West Champion is hardly getting started. The division lead has flip-flopped between the Rockies, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks for much of the season but it is now the Dodgers who hold sole possession of the coveted spot in the standings after an 8-2 rout of the Rockies. Here is the rest of the news from Monday, September 18th, the day the Boys in Blue reclaimed the throne.

Hyun-Jin Ryu continued his marvelous season on Monday against the Rockies, delivering in a critical moment for his team. Ryu pitched seven innings in which he gave up no runs on four hits, no walks and five strikeouts. Outings like this have been the story for the 31-year old, oft-injured, southpaw in 2018. Of his 13 starts this season, Ryu has made seven quality appearance (six or more innings with three or less earned runs allowed) and has maintained a 2.18 ERA across that same stretch. Unfortunately, the season for Ryu was cut shorter than he would have liked when he missed just over three months with a severe groin injury suffered in early May. Putting the injury aside, this season has been a massive success for Ryu, who will be a free agent this winter, as he proved he still has what it takes to be a highly effective starter.

Other news…

The Dodgers activated a trio of relievers from the disabled list prior to Monday’s game against the Rockies.

Yimi Garcia

,

Tony Cingrani

and

John Axford

were all placed back on the active roster after all three missed an extended period of time. Cingrani missed the most time of the three relievers, having been out since June 7th with a shoulder injury. Cingrani is coming off his second stint on the DL after dealing with the same issue back in May and many believe it is the shoulder injury that has caused his uncharacteristic 4.76 ERA.

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  • Garcia, who has been out exactly a month less than Tony Cingrani, is also struggling to find his way in 2018, just a year removed from Tommy John Surgery. The now 28-year old righty owns a 5.40 ERA in 22.1 innings in 2018 as well as a 1.48 WHIP and just 18 strikeouts. Garcia figures to be far from a consideration to make the postseason roster providing the Dodgers get there.
  • Finally, John Axford was activated after a one month stint on the shelf due to a fractured fibula suffered against the Rockies back in mid-August on a comebacker. Axford was one of the Dodgers trade deadline acquisitions to help bolster a bullpen that desperately needed his help. However, in his time with Los Angeles, Axford has managed a 14.73 in his first 3.2 innings pitched. Granted, that is a tiny sample size and his first appearance saw him surrender six earned runs while recording just one out.

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  • Yasiel Puig was awarded the National League Player of the Week after a scorching hot trip to St. Louis. In games two and three of the series, Puig hit five home runs: two in the second game and three in the third. Puig took home the award for the third time in his career but just the first since 2014, his sophomore season in the big leagues. The three home run performance was Puig’s first in his career and he also became just the ninth Dodgers of all time to have back to back home run days. Puig is heating up at the right time as he slashed .429/.500/1.190 with a 1.690 OPS in the week that saw him take home some hardware.