Dodgers April Review: So Far, So Good

The Dodgers used a stellar April to establish themselves as the favorite in the NL West, if not the National League.  A 15-8 start is tied for the ninth best April in LA Dodger history.  The Dodgers somehow only had seven home games in April, but they won them all, giving them the best undefeated April home record in club history.  For most of the 20th century, the baseball season started later in April so the other undefeated home Aprils have fewer games:

  • 2009 (7-0 at home in April)
  • 1946 (5-0)
  • 1892 (4-0)
  • 1940 (3-0)
  • 1900 (3-0)
  • 1890 (3-0)
  • 1886 (3-0)

The 1947 Dodgers started Jackie Robinson's home career by winning their first eight home games, which still stands as the club record is the second best home winning streak to start the season.  That club lost home game #9 on April 30, giving the an 8-1 home record in April.  One year earlier, the club won their first nine games at home.

Dodger Batter of the MonthManny Ramirez, who narrowly edged out cyclist Orlando Hudson and his two outfield mates, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.  Yes, Hudson is a second baseman who put up an amazing .337/.411/.537 line.  However, I don't have many absolute rules that I live my life by, but one is "if you have a .500 OBP, you win."  Manny overcame an 11-game homerless start to hit a blistering .372/.500/.654 for April.

Dodger Pitcher of the MonthChad Billingsley took the ball five times in April, and the Dodgers won all five games.  Billingsley himself was 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA and a club leading 34 strikeouts.  His two best games were the 7.1 scoreless innings last week in Houston, and his 11-strikeout home opener on April 13.  Closer Jonathan Broxton had a sublime month as well, with two wins and seven saves to go along with his 0.82 ERA.  Broxton has faced 41 batters this season, striking out 19 while allowing only eight baserunners (one via error).  Opposing batters are hitting .057/.175/.114 against him.

April Record:  15-8 (.652)
131 runs scored (5.70 per game), 96 runs allowed (4.17 per game)
.651 pythagorean winning percentage

April NL West Standings
Club W-L Pct GB RS RA
Dodgers 15-8 .652 --- 131 96
Giants 10-10 .500 77 80
Padres 11-11 .500 96 115
Diamondbacks  
9-13 .409 84 105
Rockies 8-12 .400 108 108

The Dodgers were the only NL West team to finish the month over .500, and the only one to outscore their opponents.  Only the St. Louis Cardinals have a better run differential (+37) in all of baseball.

Favorite Game of the Month:  As much as I want to pick Clayton Kershaw's 13-strikeout performance against the Giants on Jackie Robinson Night, I have to go with the amazing home opener, which featured a great Billingsley performance and the second cycle in LA Dodger history, courtesy of Orlando Hudson.

Crazy Stat of the Month:  Dodger pinch hitters, who struggled in 2008 to the tune of .233/.333/.297, have started the year 13 for 28, hitting a robust .464/.516/.536.  Mark Loretta has led the way, going 7 for 10 with a double and a walk, and had a streak of five straight pinch-hit AB with a hit.

Clay K & The Killer Bs:  Four Dodger pitchers are averaging more than a strikeout per inning:  Broxton (15.55 per nine innings), Clayton Kershaw (11.14), Ronald Belisario (9.77), and Billingsley (9.09).

Upcoming Month:  After 16 of 23 games on the road in April, the Dodgers get to enjoy more home cooking in May.  The Dodgers are scheduled to be at home for 16 of the 29 games this month, including their first interleague series of 2009, May 22-24 against the Angels.

April Stats

Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SB/CS BA/OBP/SLG OPS
Manny 78 19 29 7 0 5 15 20 0/0 .372/.500/.654 1.154
Kemp 80 15 26 6 3 3 16 10 5/1 .325/.402/.588 .990
Ethier 85 18 26 6 0 5 22 15 1/0 .306/.423/.553 .976
Hudson 95 19 32 6 2 3 12 12 4/0 .337/.411/.537 .948
Blake 74 10 18 3 0 5 15 7 0/0 .243/.326/.486 .812
Loney 80 9 25 6 0 0 16 16 1/1 .313/.423/.388 .810
Furcal 88 17 22 4 0 1 5 11 3/1 .250/.333/.330 .663
Martin 78 10 16 4 0 0 11 10 0/2 .205/.303/.256 .560
Starters 658 117 194 42 5 22 112 101 14/5 .295/.392/.474 .867
Loretta 19 5 9 1 0 0 3 2 0/0 .474/.524/.526 1.050
Ausmus 13 2 6 1 0 0 3 1 0/0 .462/.500/.538 1.038
Mientkiewicz 5 0 2 1 0 0 2 0 0/0 .400/.400/.600 1.000
Pierre 20 3 8 1 0 0 2 2 1/0 .400/.455/.450 .905
Castro 8 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 0/0 .250/.222/.250 .472
DeWitt 17 1 3 0 0 0 0 1 0/0 .176/.222/.176 .399
Bench 82 12 30 4 0 0 11 6 1/0 .366/.404/.415 .819
Pitchers 51 2 5 1 0 0 3 6 0/0 .098/.193/.118 .311
Totals 791 131 229 47 5 22 126 113 15/5 .290/.381/.445 .826

 

Pitcher G W-L Sv IP H R ER BB K ERA WHIP
Billingsley 5 4-0 -- 33.2 22 9 8 12 34 2.14 1.010
Wolf 5 1-1 -- 31.1 26 15 15 8 27 4.31 1.085
Kershaw 4 1-2 -- 21.0 19 17 17 11 26 7.29 1.429
Stults 4 2-1 -- 18.0 23 11 11 12 11 5.50 1.944
McDonald 5 1-1 -- 14.1 13 13 13 14 6 8.16 1.884
Kuroda 1 1-0 -- 5.2 4 1 1 1 2 1.59 0.882
Starters 23 9-5 -- 123.0 106 66 65 58 106 4.76 1.333
Broxton 10 2-0 7 11.0 2 1 1 4 19 0.82 0.545
Troncoso 6 0-0 1 13.0 9 2 2 2 6 1.38 0.846
Belisario 11 1-2 -- 15.2 14 6 6 6 17 3.45 1.277
Ohman 9 0-0 1 8.0 6 4 4 3 3 4.50 1.125
Wade 5 0-1 -- 4.2 5 2 2 0 1 3.86 1.071
Kuo 7 1-0 -- 5.1 5 4 4 4 4 6.75 1.688
Weaver 1 0-0 -- 4.0 4 0 0 1 4 0.00 1.250
Elbert 3 1-0 -- 6.1 10 5 5 1 6 7.11 1.737
Mota 9 1-0 -- 7.0 8 6 6 7 2 7.71 2.143
Relievers 23 6-3 9 76.0 64 30 30 28 62 3.55 1.211
Totals 23 15-8 9 199.0 170 96 95 86 168 4.30 1.286
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