The Dodgers got strong months out of Julio Urias and Kenta Maeda to back Clayton Kershaw, and the club finished 16-12 for a second straight month. But the story of June for the club was Corey Seager and Justin Turner pacing the offense.
Seager cemented his position as the best hitter on the team and one of the best players in baseball with yet another strong month, belting eight home runs and eight doubles. We are through 81 games of the season, the exact halfway point, and Seager has 20 doubles and 17 home runs. He's a rookie.
Turner had a horrible start to his season, entering the month hitting just .235/.335/.343 with three home runs and 16 RBI in 50 games. But in June Turner came alive, looking like the hitter he was in 2014-2015, hitting .286/.330/.592 with eight home runs and 22 RBI.
Seager and Turner were just the second pair of Dodgers with at least eight home runs in the same month in the last dozen years, joining Matt Kemp (nine) and Adrian Gonzalez (eight) in September 2014.
But even with the 16-12 record (a 93-win pace), the Dodgers still lost ground in the National League West. The division deficit was 4½ games to start the month, got as high as eight games, but ended June at six games back of San Francisco.
The Dodgers end June in first wild card position, 1½ games ahead of New York and two games clear of Miami.
Dodger Batter of June: Way back in May, Corey Seager tied a Dodgers record for home runs in a month by a shortstop, with seven. In June, he did one better and now has the record all to himself. Did we mention this is Seager's fourth month in the majors? Seager hit .343/.409/.676 for the month, making a strong All-Star push. He won't start, but Seager is a lock for San Diego on July 12.
Dodger Pitcher of June: Clayton Kershaw slumped all the way to a 2.36 ERA in June, a month that included a loss, and saw him walk all of four batters to go with his 40 strikeouts. That he likely did most of that while dealing with lower back issues is nothing short of remarkable.
June Record: 16-12
109 runs scored (3.89 per game)
103 runs allowed (3.68 per game)
.526 pythagorean winning percentage (15-13)
|June National League West Standings|
2016 Record: 44-37
338 runs scored (4.17 per game)
296 runs allowed (3.65 per game)
.560 pythagorean winning percentage (45-36)
|National League West Standings through June 30|
Game of the Month: Corey Seager hit three home runs in a game, and the Dodgers had four different walk-off wins during June, but I'm picking Monday's finale in Pittsburgh here as the game of June. The Dodgers lost the first three games of the wraparound weekend series to the Pirates, news of Kershaw's back problems first began to leak, and the club fell behind 4-0 in the first inning. But Scott Kazmir somehow made it through five innings and the Dodgers clawed their way back for a 5-4 win, salvaging a game at PNC Park and starting their week off on a good note.
Welcome aboard: June saw Brock Stewart make his major league debut, losing to the Brewers on June 29. The month also saw the Dodgers debut of outfielder Will Venable, signed to a major league deal, pitcher Nick Tepesch, who made one start and is now with Oakland, and infielder Chris Taylor, acquired from Seattle earlier in the month.
Pinch Hitting: Dodgers pinch hitters have been terrible all season, and June was no different. Pinch hitters during the month were just 6-for-40 with a double, a home run and six walks, hitting .150/.255/.250.
Runners in Scoring Position: In June, the Dodgers hit 257/.360/.449 with runners in scoring position in 208 plate appearances, with five doubles and nine home runs. It was by far their best month of the season with RISP, but also their fewest opportunities.
Bases loaded: The Dodgers were 2-for-14 with the bases loaded in June, with nine RBI, hitting .143/.211/.143.
The Month ahead: The Dodgers play 15 of their 24 games in July at home, including a 10-game homestand to head into the break. They don't play their next road game until July 15. The Dodgers play two division leaders in July, with the Orioles making a rare visit to LA, then the Dodgers in Washington D.C., and another playoff contender in the Cardinals, on the road.