One might think the Dodgers are lucky to be at .500 after a month in which they used nine starting pitchers in 26 games, and were without their starting shortstop and number five hitter for all but the last two days of April. That's probably true, but it didn't make the month any less frustrating.
Matt Kemp was nonexistent for most of the month, still trying to find his swing. Andre Ethier was mostly mediocre, though his three home runs are second most on the team. The two opening day starters on the left side of the infield combined to hit .150, and the Dodgers struggled to score runs, just as they did down the stretch in 2012. Just think how bad the offense might have been without the Punto Trade™.
Dodger Batter of April: Carl Crawford was just what the Dodgers needed at the top of the order, and he hit .308/.388/.516 with 20 runs scored in his first month as a Dodger to capture the award narrowly over Adrian Gonzalez, who hit .333/.398/.473. Gonzalez led the club with 18 RBI, and drove in Crawford eight times. What helped push Crawford to the top, aside from leading the club in extra-base hits, runs scored, slugging percentage, and OPS, was his team leading four home runs.
Honorable mention goes to Nick Punto, who hit .400/.488/.429 in 42 plate appearances. In April, the three imports from the Red Sox combined to hit .333/.409/.484, while the rest of the position players hit just .225/.305/.324.
Dodger Pitcher of April: This award was another close one. Clayton Kershaw narrowly edges Hyun-jin Ryu, after each pitcher ended their month with a 12-strikeout game. Kershaw was 3-2 with a 1.73 ERA, 47 strikeouts and 12 walks. Ryu was 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA, 46 strikeouts and 10 walks.
April Record: 13-13
88 runs scored (3.38 per game)
108 runs allowed (4.15 per game)
.407 pythagorean winning percentage (11-15)
|April National League West Standings|
Game of the Month: With all due respect to the pair of 12-strikeout games by Kershaw and Ryu in the final three days of April, the game of the month came on opening day. Kershaw did it all on Apr. 1, not only pitching a shutout with no walks to beat the Giants but also producing at the plate with his first major league home run, breaking a scoreless tie in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Pop up video: After enjoying his half season in the sun with the Dodgers in 2012, April for Luis Cruz was a lost month. He hit just .089 (5-for-56) and popped out to an infielder an astonishing 15 times, tied with Matt Dominguez, in just 60 plate appearances. In 2012 with the Dodgers, Cruz popped out in the infield 20 times in 296 PA.
First & last: The Dodgers got two runs batted in out of their pitchers in April, on both the first and last day of the month. Kershaw hit the home run on opening day, and Ryu hit an RBI single against the Rockies on Apr. 30. Ryu, who said during spring training that he hadn't picked up a bat in eight years, since high school, batted .333 (4-for-12) with a double in April.
Pinch Hitting: For the month, Dodger pinch hitters were terrible, with four hits in 28 at-bats, including a home run, hitting .143/.172/.250. The National League as a whole hit .216/.273/.340 as a pinch hitter.
Runners in Scoring Position: In April, the Dodgers hit .213/.319/.275 with runners in scoring position in 258 plate appearances. The entire NL hit .252/.338/.382 with runners in scoring position during the month.
They had a runner on third base with less than two outs 51 times, and got the runner home 27 times, or 52.9% (the entire NL scored 384 of 757 times, 50.7%).
They had a runner on second base with nobody out 38 times in April, and the runner advanced 23 times, or 60.5% (the entire NL advanced the runner 309 of 562 times, 55.0%).