Dodgers May in Review: Ely & The Dodgers in High Cotton

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 MayHe may have missed 15 games, but nobody made as much of an impact on the offense as Andre Ethier.  Ethier only played 13 games in May, but still managed 19 RBI, and led the club with 14 extra-base hits.  He hit a whopping .453/.500/.906 for the month.  Honorable mention goes to nobody.  Xavier Paul had the fourth-highest OPS on the team, at .798, and he's back at Albuquerque.

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
Club W-L Pct GB RS RA
Dodgers 20-8 .714 --- 132 113
Rockies 16-12 .571 4 126 109
Padres 16-12 .571 4 116 91
Giants  
14-14 .500 6 109 111
Diamondbacks 9-20 .310 11½ 123 183

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
Club W-L Pct GB RS RA
Padres 31-20 .608 --- 222 168
Dodgers 29-22 .569 2 249 242
Giants  
27-23 .540 210 176
Rockies 27-24 .529 4 247 204
Diamondbacks 20-32 .385 11½ 257 321

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
Player Month AB H AVG
Andre Ethier Sep 2008 78 36 .462
Pedro Guerrero     
Jul 1985 63 29 .460
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
Closer Month Saves
Jonathan Broxton  
May 2010 12
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 SacrificeJamey 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

May Stats

Player PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SB/CS BA/OBP/SLG OPS wOBA
Ethier 58 53 13 24 9 0 5 19 4 0/0 .453/.500/.906 1.406 .587
Kemp 121 110 22 32 8 2 3 10 11 4/3 .291/.355/.482 .837 .363
Blake 107 94 15 26 6 0 4 12 10 0/0 .277/.358/.468 .827 .366
Loney 111 99 16 26 8 1 3 22 9 2/2 .263/.315/.455 .770 .321
DeWitt 88 81 9 21 6 3 0 9 7 0/0 .259/.318/.407 .726 .316
Carroll 89 73 12 21 2 0 0 10 12 1/0 .288/.371/.315 .686 .314
Martin 115 101 17 23 4 0 2 8 11 2/1 .228/.322/.327 .648 .296
Manny 71 60 8 12 2 0 2 13 9 0/1 .200/.310/.333 .643 .282
Furcal 27 26 2 8 1 0 0 3 0 0/0 .308/.296/.346 .642 .280
Starters
787 697 114 193 46 6 19 106 73 9/7 .277/.347/.442 .789
Paul 49 42 6 13 3 1 0 6 4 0/3 .310/.370/.429 .798 .366
Johnson 49 44 3 14 3 0 0 3 2 1/1 .318/.354/.386 .741 .330
Belliard 29 25 2 6 2 0 0 3 4 0/0 .240/.345/.320 .665 .292
Anderson 37 35 2 7 1 1 0 3 1 1/0 .200/.216/.286 .502 .218
Ellis 9 9 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 0/0 .222/.222/.222 .444 .200
Green 9 8 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0/0 .125/.222/.125 .347 .182
Bench
182 163 13 43 9 2 0 18 11 2/1 .264/.315/.344 .658
Pitchers
68 53 5 4 0 0 0 1 3 0/0 .075/.123/.075 .198
Totals
1037 913 132 240 55 8 19 125 87 11/8 .263/.329/.403 .732 .321

 

Pitcher G W-L Sv IP H R ER BB K ERA WHIP FIP*
Ely 5 3-1 -- 33.0 27 8 8 3 28 2.18 0.909 1.78
Kershaw 6 4-2 -- 34.2 25 12 11 15 39 2.86 1.154 2.88
Billingsley 6 4-1 -- 39.0 34 14 13 10 38 3.00 1.128 3.92
Monasterios 2 1-0 -- 9.0 8 5 3 3 3 3.00 1.222 6.76
Kuroda 6 3-2 -- 36.2 43 22 18 10 23 4.42 1.445 3.75
Ra.Ortiz 2 0-1 -- 7.1 12 8 8 6 5 9.82 2.455 5.25
Haeger 1 0-1 -- 0.0 2 5 5 3 0 inf inf inf
Starters 28
15-8 -- 159.2 151 74 66 50 136 3.72 1.259 3.49
Kuo 11 0-0 -- 10.2 3 0 0 3 15 0.00 0.563 1.23
Miller 1 0-0 -- 1.1 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 0.000 1.70
Broxton 14 2-0 12/13 14.2 14 4 3 2 21 1.84 1.091 0.75
Monasterios 4 0-0 -- 9.0 7 2 2 2 5 2.00 1.000 2.76
Haeger 1 0-0 -- 4.0 5 1 1 1 3 2.25 1.500 2.45
Weaver 11 2-0 -- 10.0 7 4 4 2 9 3.60 0.900 2.00
Ra.Ortiz 4 1-0 -- 10.0 10 4 4 2 9 3.60 1.200 4.60
Troncoso 12 0-0 -- 11.2 13 9 8 4 8 6.17 1.457 7.57
Belisario 13 0-0 -- 11.0 7 8 8 8 12 6.55 1.364 4.11
Sherrill 9 0-0 -- 6.1 9 6 6 5 5 8.53 2.211 3.99
Elbert 1 0-0 -- 0.2 1 1 1 3 0 13.50 6.000 16.70
Relievers 28
5-0 12/3 89.1 76 39 37 32 88 3.73 1.209 3.32
Totals 28
20-8 12/13 249.0 227 113 103 82 224 3.72 1.241 3.43
*FIP is estimated
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