After a sluggish start to the season, the Dodgers have healed themselves with a steady diet of the National League West. They won all six games this week against divisional foes Arizona and San Diego, to vault back into contention. The Dodgers have won all five series against the NL West this season, going 12-3 within the division. As great as the week was, the excitement is tempered as we await word of just how big Andre Ethier's little finger injury turns out to be.
Dodger Batter of the Week: Even though he missed the final two games with a fractured right pinky, Andre Ethier wins this award, packing in a week's worth of production into four games. Ethier has six extra-base hits in his four games, hitting .444/.524/.889. Honorable mention goes to James Loney, who hit three doubles and two home runs, hitting .346/.393/.692.
Dodger Pitcher of the Week: There were pitching heroes aplenty this week, as every non-Ortiz starting pitcher won their start. However, Chad Billingsley takes the award this week by virtue of pitching twice. In his two games, both wins, Billingsley allowed two runs in 12 2/3 innings, allowing 13 baserunners against 13 strikeouts. Honorable mention goes to Clayton Kershaw, Hiroki Kuroda, and John Ely, all of whom pitched very well and might have won in another week.
Week 6 Record: 6-0
35 runs scored (5.83 per game)
13 runs allowed (2.17 per game)
.860 pythagorean winning percentage
Season Record: 20-17
190 runs scored (5.14 per game)
184 runs allowed (4.97 per game)
.515 pythagorean winning percentage (19-18)
Power & Speed: In the first two games in San Diego, a pair of Dodgers had a home run and stolen base in the same game. On Friday night, Matt Kemp turned the trick, including his go-ahead home run over the outstretched glove of Tony Gwynn, the second such game for Kemp this season. Then, one night later, James Loney launched a home run to right center field in the second inning off Kevin Correia, then stole second base off Correia in the sixth.
Shades of Jim Neidlinger: John Ely followed up his no-walk, seven-strikeout performance against the Brewers with a no-walk, six-strikeout performance against Arizona. Ely became the first Dodger pitcher to throw six innings in each of his first three career games since Pedro Astacio in 1992. Since moving to Los Angeles, only five Dodger starters have accomplished the feat: Ely, Astacio (5 games), Don Sutton (8 games, 1966), Doyle Alexander (1971), and Neidlinger (1990).
Little Finger, Big Injury: Andre Ethier's fractured right pinky threw a road block in front of what was becoming an historic month. In addition to hitting .490/.537/.980 with 14 extra-base hits in 12 games in May, Ethier also had 19 runs batted in. The Dodger record for RBI in May is 28, shared by Eric Karros (2000) and Nomar Garciaparra (2006).
Two Hits? No Problem: On Sunday, the Dodgers beat the Padres despite getting just two hits. It was only the 15th time since moving to Los Angeles that the Dodgers won a game with two or fewer hits. The last such game was the No-Hit Win Game in 2008 against the Angels.
A Long Wait: Injuries (to Vicente Padilla) and ineffectiveness (by Charlie Haeger) led the Dodgers to a point where starting Ramon Ortiz seemed like a viable idea. Ortiz became the eighth Dodger to make a start this season when he took the mound Friday night in San Diego. Ortiz last started on May 26, 2007 for the Twins, 1,084 days prior.
A Welcome Relief: In addition to great starting pitching this week, the Dodgers got excellent work out of their bullpen, now back at full strength for the first week this season. On the week, the Dodger bullpen allowed 11 baserunners while striking out 17 in 17 innings. Six of the eight Dodger relievers didn't allow a run, and nobody in the bullpen allowed more than one hit.
Lonely Ellis Island: Russell Martin has started 17 consecutive games, catching all but one inning during that span. Since starting the second game of a doubleheader in New York on April 27, backup catcher A.J. Ellis has only appeared in one game, finishing up behind the plate in the ninth inning in last Saturday's 8-0 loss to the Rockies (The Charlie Haeger Game). Incidentally, the Dodgers haven't lost since that game. Martin is in the midst of an 11-game hitting streak, hitting .304/.360/.457 during that span.
Monday: Two days after failing to retire a batter, Charlie Haeger was diagnosed with plantar fascitis and placed in the 15-day disabled list. Taking his place on the roster was John Ely, who was recalled just three days after he was optioned.
- Monday: Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 3
- Tuesday: Dodgers 13, Diamondbacks 3
- Wednesday: Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 3
- Friday: Dodgers 4, Padres 3
- Saturday: Dodgers 4, Padres 1
- Sunday: Dodgers 1, Padres 0
Upcoming Week: The Dodgers come home to play a seven-game homestand against three different teams. Interleague play starts next weekend against the Tigers, and the early part of the week is filled with the always weird two-game series, with both the Astros and Padres.
Week 6 Stats
*FIP is estimated