"What are you going to do if you win the True Blue LA August award?" "What are you going to do if you win it?"
The Dodgers had their best month in quite some time in August, going 17-11 for their first winning month since June 2010. They got fantastic pitching, which isn't necessarily a new thing, but combined it with a major league offense for once. The Dodgers in August both scored their most runs and allowed their fewest runs of any month this season.
Dodger Batter of August: Rod Barajas went on a power surge in August, and ended up hitting .357/.403/.750 for the month. It is the second straight monthly award given to a catcher, and last month's winner was designated for assignment just over three weeks later. James Loney certainly had a strong case for the award, finding an old case of Gatorade from September 2007 to hit .367/.433/.633 with five home runs, more than he had in the previous four months combined. However, Barajas takes the award because he led the club with six home runs despite collecting just 68 plate appearances.
Honorable mention goes to Matt Kemp, who joined the 30/30 club on August 26 and hit .330/.400/.518 with 23 runs scored and 20 RBI. It was the 53rd month with 20 runs and 20 RBI by a Dodger since the club moved to Los Angeles.
Dodger Pitcher of August: Clayton Kershaw won the National League Pitcher of the Month in July, and continued to roll in August. Kershaw won five of his six starts, and put up a 1.55 ERA with 10 walks and 39 strikeouts.
The entire pitching staff was stellar in August, as 11 of the 13 pitchers had an ERA of 3.77 or better and 10 of the 13 pitchers had FIPs under 4.00.
August Record: 17-11
131 runs scored (4.68 per game)
85 runs allowed (3.04 per game)
.688 pythagorean winning percentage (19-9)
|August National League West Standings|
Season Record: 65-70
524 runs scored (3.88 per game)
520 runs allowed (3.85 per game)
.504 pythagorean winning percentage (68-67)
|National League West Standings Through August 31
Game of the Month: On August 26 against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium, Carlos Gonzalez hit a ball 421 feet into the upper part of the right field pavilion in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. However, that was all Ted Lilly would allow. During the game, Vin Scully announced his return for 2012 on air, then the Dodgers rallied in the seventh inning thanks to some chicanery from Aaron Miles and a two-run single by rookie Justin Sellers. James Loney homered in the midst of his power surge, and Matt Kemp followed with a bomb to center field to join the 30/30 club. All in all, it was a fun night at Dodger Stadium and a 6-1 Dodger win.
Welcome Aboard: Justin Sellers made his major league debut on August 12, and hit his first major league home run on August 14, at home in front of friends and family at Dodger Stadium against the Astros. A.J. Ellis hit his first major league home run on August 24 in St. Louis.
Pinch Hitting: For the month, Dodger pinch hitters had four singles in 29 at-bats, with seven walks, hitting .143/.314/.143.
Runners in Scoring Position: In August, the Dodgers hit .291/.376/.423 with runners in scoring position in 273 plate appearances, by far their best month of the season.
They had a runner on third base with less than two outs 57 times (through August 30), and got the runner home 32 times, or 56.1% (the entire NL scored 431 of 878, 49.1%).
They had a runner on second base with nobody out 47 times through August 30, and the runner advanced 29 times, or 61.7% (the entire NL advanced the runner 338 of 629 times, 53.7%).
Upcoming Month: The Dodgers end their season with a lot of traveling, playing 17 of their final 27 games on the road. The Dodgers play the Diamondbacks and Giants six times each, and travel to San Diego for a weekend series with the Padres.