The Dodgers went 16-12 during the month of May, a 93-win pace over the course of a full season. But the month feels like a disappointment because of two factors.
For one, the offense sputtered in the second half of the month, scoring 2.21 runs per game in the last 14 contests of May. Secondly, the hard-charging Giants played .700 ball in May to make a race of the National League West. The Dodgers end the month with just a half-game lead in the division.
The May Dodgers, in total, might be closer than April to what the front office envisioned during the offseason, being great at preventing runs (just 3.07 runs per game allowed in May, best in baseball during the month) while scoring enough runs to win.
Believe it or not, the Dodgers in April (13-8, .619) had a lower pythagorean winning percentage (.617) than the team in May (.630). Keep plugging along like this, and the wins will come.
Dodger Batter of May: Yasmani Grandal missed a week with a concussion but still led the team with 18 RBI in 18 games played during the month, hitting .375/.478/.661. Justin Turner also did well, moving up the depth chart at third base, and Andre Ethier continued his resurgent season in right field.
In addition, Joc Pederson hit just .236 but thanks to 16 walks still had a .341 on-base percentage and slugged .519 thanks to nine home runs.
Joc Pederson-9 HR in May. Via @EliasSports: He ties Dodgers’ record for HR by a rookie in calendar month (James Loney, 9, Sept. 2007)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 31, 2015
Honorable mention goes to Brett Anderson, who had a .412 on-base percentage and was the first Dodgers pitcher to walk four times in a calendar month since Rick Honeycutt walked five times in September 1986.
Dodger Pitcher of May: Zack Greinke takes this for a second straight month, thanks to allowing five runs in five starts. This was a close call with Mike Bolsinger, but as good as Bolsinger was (1.0519 ERA), Greinke was slightly better (1.0485 ERA) in one more start, with 11 more strikeouts and the same number of walks. To show how strong the Dodgers starting pitching was during the month, both Clayton Kershaw and Brett Anderson had better a fielding independent pitching ERA (FIP) than Greinke.
Honorable mention goes to closer Kenley Jansen, who returned from foot surgery to strike out nine of his 16 batters faced, with the only batter reaching base doing so on a strikeout and wild pitch.
May record: 16-12
115 runs scored (4.11 per game)
86 runs allowed (3.07 per game)
.630 pythagorean winning percentage (18-10)
|May National League West Standings|
2015 record: 29-20
215 runs scored (4.39 per game)
163 runs allowed (3.33 per game)
.624 pythagorean winning percentage (31-18)
|National League West Standings through May 31|
Game of the Month: There were a pair of 8-0 wins, and the 14-4 win on getaway day in Milwaukee, but I think I'll choose the 5-3 win over the Marlins on May 11. That was a fun game with a back-and-forth between Christian Yelich and Scott Van Slyke, won with a come-from-behind, three-run walk-off home run by Van Slyke in the ninth.
Pinch Hitting: For the month, Dodger pinch hitters were 10-for-31 with two home runs and two walks, hitting .323/.364/.516.
Runners in Scoring Position: In May, the Dodgers hit .289/.383/.485 with runners in scoring position in 232 plate appearances, with 11 doubles and nine home runs.
They had a runner on third base with less than two outs 49 times in May, and got the runner home 26 times, or 53.1 percent (the entire National League scored 384 of 792 times, 48.5 percent).
They had a runner on second base with nobody out 42 times in May, and the runner advanced 22 times, or 52.4 percent (the entire NL advanced the runner 310 of 584 times, 53.1 percent).
Bases loaded: The Dodgers were 6-for-23 with the bases loaded in May, with two walks, and a grand slam by Pederson on May 1, hitting .261/.346/.435.
Previous months in review: April