The Dodgers began their month with two wins in a doubleheader in Minnesota on May 1, and ended it with a 12-2 blowout win over the Pirates at home. But in between was a pile of back-and-forth mediocrity, which ended in a .500 month.
But the month stood out for something that wasn't mediocre or ordinary. May was a masterpiece of a month for Yasiel Puig, who less than a year into his major league career has become a bonafide superstar.
Dodger Batter of May: In his sixth big league month, Yasiel Puig was simply magnificent. He reached base by hit, walk or hit by pitch in every game he played, part of a 32-game streak that is the longest active streak in baseball. Puig led the National League in batting average (.398), on-base percentage (.492), slugging percentage (.731), OPS (1.224), home runs (eight, tied with Giancarlo Stanton) and runs batted in (25). Puig's 43 hits matched Willie Davis in 1971 for the most by a Los Angeles Dodger in May. Puig reached base 63 times in May, the most in any one month by a Dodger since Manny Ramirez reached base 65 times (44 hits, 18 walks, three HBP) in August 2008.
Honorable mentions go to Carl Crawford, who caught fire hitting .333/.358/.513 with four home runs and five steals before spraining his ankle on May 27; and to Justin Turner, who started 14 games during the month and filled in nicely at third base, hitting .300/.348/.483 with a pair of home runs.
Dodger Pitcher of May: He had a solid enough month anyway, but Josh Beckett throwing a no-hitter on May 25 in Philadelphia clinched the award for the right-hander. Beckett was 3-2 with a 2.56 ERA during the month, leading the staff in innings (38⅔) and second on the team in strikeouts (35).
Honorable mention goes to Hyun-Jin Ryu, who won all three starts after getting activated from the disabled list with 20 strikeouts and only one walk. Ryu also took a perfect game into the eighth inning on May 26, one day after Beckett's masterpiece.
May Record: 15-15
139 runs scored (4.63 per game)
128 runs allowed (4.27 per game)
.538 pythagorean winning percentage (16-14)
|May National League West Standings|
2014 Record: 30-27
247 runs scored (4.33 per game)
231 runs allowed (4.05 per game)
.531 pythagorean winning percentage (30-27)
|National League West Standings through May 31|
Game of the Month: Now team has thrown more no-hitters than the 21 thrown by Dodgers pitchers, but it had been a long 18 years since the last one. Enter Josh Beckett on May 25 in Philadelphia. He threw a career-high 128 pitches in the 6-0 win, and walked three. Beckett struck out six Phillies, including a called strikeout of Chase Utley to end the game.
The outfield earned your love: After seemingly taking a vacation far away in April, the quintet of Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Scott Van Slyke hit a combined .317/.378/.529 in May, with 16 home runs, 27 doubles, four triples, 13 steals, 59 runs scored and 59 runs driven in. That same group in April hit .237/.313/.412 with 11 home runs, 20 doubles, three triples, nine steals, 41 runs and 45 RBI.
Man of steal: After a red-hot start at the plate in April, Dee Gordon took a step back in May, hitting just .244/.311/.309. But he was efficient in his time on the bases, stealing 21 bases, which helped him score 18 runs. The 21 steals in May would be enough to lead the majors in steals for the entire season, as his nearest competitors, Jose Altuve and Billy Hamilton, each have 20 steals. Gordon's 21 steals tied Maury Wills in 1965 for the most stolen bases by a Dodger in May dating back to 1914, and his 21 steals were the most in any month by a Dodger since Davey Lopes stole 21 in September 1976.
The Dodgers led the majors with 39 stolen bases in May, 11 more than any other team (Kansas City was second, with 28).
20/20 vision: Yasiel Puig drove in 25 runs and scored 20 runs in 28 games in May, the first Dodger with 20 runs and 20 RBI in the same month since Matt Kemp in April 2012. Puig's May was the 158th such month by a Dodger dating back to 1914, and the 56th month since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958. Kemp had the previous five 20/20 months for the Dodgers.
Welcome aboard: Making their major league debuts for the Dodgers in May were Red Patterson, who started the second game of a doubleheader on May 1 in Minnesota, allowing one run in 4⅔ innings; Pedro Baez, who pitched an inning of relief and allowed two runs in Washington on May 5; Erisbel Arruebarrena, who walked and struck out three times in four plate appearances on May 23 in Philadelphia; and to Jamie Romak, who grounded out to second base as a pinch hitter at home against the Reds on May 28.
Pinch Hitting: For the month, Dodger pinch hitters had six hits in 36 at-bats with three doubles and three walks, hitting just .167/.250/.250.
Runners in Scoring Position: In May, the Dodgers hit .264/.340/.380 with runners in scoring position in 295 plate appearances, with 15 doubles, two triples and five home runs.
They had a runner on third base with less than two outs 63 times, and got the runner home 32 times, or 50.8% (the entire National League scored 390 of 781 times, 49.9%).
They had a runner on second base with nobody out 58 times in May, and the runner advanced 35 times, or 60.3% (the entire NL advanced the runner 325 of 597 times, 54.4%).
Upcoming month: The Dodgers are home for 15 of their 28 games during June, including interleague battles against the White Sox and the Indians at Dodger Stadium. The club also faces the Royals in Kansas City as part of a six-game road trip.
Previous month in review: April