Rookie John Ely put his stamp on the Dodgers with a great month of May
The Dodgers really turned things around after a poor April. Led by stellar pitching from the top end of both the rotation and the bullpen, and a sublime half-month from Andre Ethier, the Dodgers posted the second-best May record in Los Angeles Dodger history, behind the 21-7 May in 1962.
The Dodgers made their move in the middle of the month with a nine-game winning streak, and beat up on the National League West, winning 12 of 15 games within the division in May. The Dodgers seem to be mirroring the Atlanta Braves, as both teams followed a 9-14 April with the best record in baseball with a 20-8 May.
Dodger Batter of May:
Dodger Pitcher of May: There are so many candidates here, but John Ely takes the cake. He made five starts during May, and thew a quality start in each one. He was 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA, a 1.78 FIP, and 28 strikeouts against just three walks. Ely Mania is alive and well in Los Angeles. Honorable mention goes to Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley, who teamed with Ely and Hiroki Kuroda to lead the rotation, and Hong-Chih Kuo and Jonathan Broxton, who were lights out in the bullpen.
May Record: 20-8
132 runs scored (4.71 per game)
113 runs allowed (4.04 per game)
.571 pythagorean winning percentage (16-12)
|May NL West Standings|
Season Record: 29-22
249 runs scored (4.88 per game)
242 runs allowed (4.75 per game)
.513 pythagorean winning percentage (26-25)
|Season NL West Standings|
Game of the Month: One night after Charlie Haeger faced five Rockies in his start and didn't retire a batter, and one game after the worst start of Clayton Kershaw's career, Kershaw and the Dodgers faced off with Ubaldo Jimenez at Dodger Stadium on May 9. For the only time all season, somebody out-dueled Jimenez, as Kershaw threw eight scoreless innings, and the Dodgers won 2-0 against the Rockies. To date, it is the only loss for the amazing Jimenez, who finished May with a 10-1 record and a microscopic 0.78 ERA.
Pinch Hitting: For the month, Dodger pinch hitters had four hits in 32 at-bats, with one double and one walk, hitting .125/.152/.156.
Runners in Scoring Position: In May, the Dodgers hit .314/.386/.518 with runners in scoring position in 280 plate appearances. They had a runner on third base with less than two outs 65 times, and got the runner home 31 times, or 47.7% (the entire NL scored 481 of 923, 52.1%). They had a runner on second base with nobody out 74 times, and the runner advanced 38 times, or 51.4% (the entire NL advanced the runner 467 of 1,112 times, 42.4%).
The .450 Club: Andre Ethier had a ridiculous month before breaking his right pinkie finger, hitting .453/.500/.906. Ethier is one of just three LA Dodgers to hit .450 in a single month with at least 50 plate appearances, and he is the only one to do it twice:
|LA Dodgers to hit .450 in a Month|
|Andre Ethier||Sep 2008||78||36||.462|
|Willie Davis||Aug 1969||109||50||.459|
|Andre Ethier||May 2010||53||24||.453|
|minimum 50 PA|
Closing Time: After getting just one save in three opportunities in April, Jonathan Broxton set a Dodger record for saves in a month in May, with 12. Here are the Dodgers with double digit saves in a month:
|LA Dodgers, Most Saves in a Month|
|Eric Gagne||Jul 2004||11|
|Eric Gagne||May 2003||11|
|Eric Gagne||Aug 2003||11|
|Eric Gagne||Jun 2002||11|
|Jeff Shaw||Jul 2001||11|
|Todd Worrell||Jul 1997||11|
|Takashi Saito||Aug 2007||10|
|Eric Gagne||Jun 2003||10|
|Eric Gagne||Aug 2002||10|
|Jeff Shaw||Sep 1998||10|
|Todd Worrell||Aug 1996||10|
A JC Sacrifice: Jamey Carroll had three sacrifice flies in 2008 and 2009 combined, over a total of 760 plate appearances. Yet, pressed into full-time duty with Rafael Furcal on the disabled list for most of the month, Carroll tallied four sacrifice flies in May alone.
Upcoming Month: The Dodgers pay 15 out of their 27 June games at home, but the opponents are much tougher. After finishing up the final two games with Arizona, the Dodgers play 22 straight games against teams who are either in first place now (Braves, Cardinals, Reds, Yankees) or were in the playoffs last year (Red Sox, Angels).
Previous Month in Review: April