The first month of the Dodgers season saw numerous injuries, with outfielders Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford on the disabled list, zero innings out of Hyun-jin Ryu with no clear return timetable in sight, no innings from closer Kenley Jansen, and starter Brandon McCarthy is out for the year after Tommy John surgery.
But on the field the month was a rousing success, thanks in large part to a strong offense and a strong bullpen.
The Dodgers rank first in the National League in scoring (4.76 runs per game) and on-base percentage (.345), and lead the majors in home runs (32), slugging percentage (.486) and OPS (.832).
The bullpen is fourth in the majors in ERA (2.25), first in FIP (2.13), first in xFIP (2.95), second in strikeouts (79) and first in strikeout rate (29.9%).
The result was a 13-8 month, including 10-2 at Dodger Stadium, the team's best home start in six years.
Dodger Batter of April: First baseman Adrian Gonzalez was on fire from the get-go, and hit .383/.432/.790 for the month, leading the majors in slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+ (236), wOBA (.513) and wRC+ (235). Gonzalez hit nine doubles and eight home runs, matching his output from (March and) April 2014, though this year in 26 fewer plate appearances.
Dating back to at least 1914, the only Dodgers to hit more than Gonzalez's eight home runs in April were Matt Kemp (12, in 2012), Gary Sheffield (10, in 2000), and Ron Cey (nine, in 1977).
Honorable mention goes to Joc Pederson, who won the center field job and in his first full month hit a whopping .298/.461/.596 with four home runs and 17 walks, and ranks third in the majors in on-base percentage.
Alex Guerrero also deserves mention, for hitting .423 (11-for-26) with five home runs in limited duty. He is one of just 10 players since 1914 to hit five home runs in 30 or fewer plate appearances in a month. The last to do it was Jason Giambi in May 2011, and the only other Dodger on the list was Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale, who hit five home runs in August 1958, in six starts.
Dodger Pitcher of April: Zack Greinke allowed only seven runs in five starts, going 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA, with 27 strikeouts and seven walks in 32⅔ innings. All five starts were against National League West opponents, against whom Greinke is 22-1 with a 1.96 ERA since joining the Dodgers.
Honorable mention goes to a pair of rookie relief pitchers who have been lights out. Yimi Garcia is tied for the National League lead with 19 strikeouts in relief, while opposing batter are 4-for-40 without an extra-base hit. Adam Liberatore made his major league debut on April 17, and pitched 6⅓ scoreless innings with six strikeouts in April, retiring 18 of 19 batters.
April Record: 13-8
100 runs scored (4.76 per game)
77 runs allowed (3.67 per game)
.617 pythagorean winning percentage (13-8)
|April National League West Standings|
Game of the Month: The finale of the opening series against the Padres at home was pretty special, with Adrian Gonzalez hitting three home runs in a 7-4 Dodgers win, and setting a major league record in the process with five home runs in the first three games of the season.
Pinch Hitting: For the month, Dodger pinch hitters were just 5-for-29 but hit three home runs and a double, with two walks, hitting .172/.273/.517. The Dodgers only hit one pinch-hit home run all of 2014.
Runners in Scoring Position: In April, the Dodgers hit .267/.367/.441 with runners in scoring position in 199 plate appearances, with 16 doubles and four home runs.
They had a runner on third base with less than two outs 43 times in April, and got the runner home 21 times, or 48.8 percent (the entire National League scored 306 of 571 times, 53.6 percent).
They had a runner on second base with nobody out 22 times in April, and the runner advanced 14 times, or 63.6 percent (the entire NL advanced the runner 229 of 425 times, 53.9 percent).
Bases loaded: The Dodgers were 3-for-15 with the bases loaded in April, with three singles, a walk, and a sacrifice fly, hitting .200/.235/.200.