The sellout crowd packed Dodger Stadium on Saturday, able to take pleasure in a heat night of little consequence. The countdown to the postseason is on, and the outcomes of August have gotten analyzed within the context of what they imply for October.

The Washington Nationals could be probably the most formidable workforce standing between the Dodgers and their first World Collection since 1988. However the crowd at Nationals Park on Saturday went silent as Bryce Harper slipped on first base, collapsed to the bottom, and grabbed his left knee in ache. The Nationals await an MRI examination Sunday that ought to reveal the severity of the damage to maybe one of the best participant within the Nationwide League.

The Chicago Cubs might stand within the Dodgers’ approach too. The Cubs have performed sluggishly all summer time, however the defending World Collection champions lastly surged into first place July 26. But, barely greater than two weeks later, the Cubs not are the only occupants of first place within the NL Central.

They now are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals, the winners of eight straight video games and the proprietors of the Dodgers’ biggest October nightmares. The Cardinals eradicated the Dodgers from the playoffs in 2013 and 2014, remembered partially for the house runs Matt Adams and Matt Carpenter hit towards Clayton Kershaw, and for Joe Kelly neutralizing Hanley Ramirez by breaking his rib with a fastball.

At Dodger Stadium, the opponents have been the San Diego Padres, who’re enjoying for October … of 2019. The pesky Padres have been making an attempt to turn into the primary group to win a collection from the Dodgers because the highly effective Nationals, approach again within the first week of June.

Not so quick, Padres. Perhaps Sunday.

On Saturday, the Padres had a two-run lead after 5 innings. The Dodgers scored 5 runs within the subsequent three innings, and that made for a 6-three victory. The Dodgers had come from behind to win for the thirty fifth time this season. And, in a powerful footnote to this exceptional season, the Dodgers clinched a profitable report with forty six video games to play.

“We’re simply targeted on profitable one recreation at a time,” Chris Taylor stated. “It feels like a cliché, nevertheless it’s true.”

Within the seventh, Cody Bellinger hit his thirty fourth residence run, one shy of Mike Piazza’s Dodgers rookie report. Bellinger ranks third within the majors in homers, behind Giancarlo Stanton of Miami (forty one) and Aaron Decide of the New York Yankees (35).

Within the eighth, Taylor added a house run, his seventeenth of the season.

Kenley Jansen labored a scoreless ninth for his third save in 4 days and thirty first of the season.

The Padres took a three-1 lead into the sixth, however the Dodgers scored three runs within the inning to take the lead for good. The Dodgers loaded the bases with none out, on a stroll to Yasmani Grandal, a double by Chase Utley and a 9-pitch stroll by Yasiel Puig.

“That was big,” Corey Seager stated. “That was a very mature at-bat.”

Seager had one in every of his personal, a full-rely single laced into proper area. Grandal and Utley scored, tying the sport. The Padres trapped Seager in a rundown between first base and second, then threw residence making an attempt to stop Puig from scoring. The throw was dangerous, Puig was protected, and the Dodgers had a four-three lead.

The Dodgers went on to win, however not earlier than a weird incident within the ninth inning. Utley requested second base umpire Ramon De Jesus to maneuver out of his method, the type of request generally granted when a center infielder says his view is blocked. Roberts stated he was “shocked” that Utley’s request was denied and Utley was then ejected, after an obvious cross phrase that neither Utley nor Roberts would specify.

“Chase may need voiced his ideas,” Roberts stated.

Utley stated “most umpires oblige” his requests to maneuver however De Jesus had declined over the course of the sport. Utley stated he believed he had “a reasonably good rapport” with most umpires however “clearly not with Ramon.”

Stated Utley: “You reside and also you study. I’ll study from it. I hope Ramon learns from it too.”

Because the Dodgers put together for October, one of many story strains shall be how the staff units up its pitching for the postseason. If Kershaw returns as anticipated, the Dodgers determine to make use of him, Yu Darvish, Wealthy Hill and Alex Wooden within the playoff rotation. However Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda nonetheless might earn a spot, and each have pitched nicely recently.

Ryu entered Saturday’s recreation with a streak of 15 scoreless innings in a row, and a ERA of zero.ninety five because the All-Star break. However he wanted wanted 108 pitches to final 5 innings towards San Diego.

He prolonged his streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 17, however the Padres scored one run in every of the subsequent three innings. Ryu gave up seven hits, together with a house run to Wil Myers, and three walks in 5 innings.

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Comply with Invoice Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin