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Dodgers April review: Justin Turner on fire

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MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Los Angeles Dodgers Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers hovered around .500 for most of April, but it was an excellent month for one player especially, who was red hot literally, and helped the club to close out the month on a four-game winning streak.

Batter of April

Justin Turner had one of the more unique months in Dodgers history in April. He ended the month on a career-best 16-game hitting streak and hit .405/.465/.562, the eighth Dodger in the last 20 years to hit .400 in a month in at least 75 plate appearances (the last? Carl Crawford in Sept. 2014).

Turner leads the National League with 11 doubles, but what was more amazing is that his month was so productive despite not hitting a home run until the penultimate game of the month. Turner’s first home run was part of the craziest game of the month (more on that in a bit).

In his career, Turner has two home runs in 352 April plate appearances (one every 176 PA), and one every 36 plate appearances in all other months.

Pitcher of April

Clayton Kershaw had a typically great month, posting a 2.29 ERA in five starts, with 39 strikeouts against only three walks. It marked the fifth month in his career that Kershaw made at least five starts and had three or fewer walks.

Speaking of control, Kenley Jansen gets honorable mention for striking out 17 with no walks in his 9⅔ innings.

In all, despite Rich Hill getting through one normal start, and even with the two-day bullpen hiccup in Arizona (allowing nine runs in the eighth inning on Apr. 21), the Dodgers pitching staff as a whole was a strength, leading the NL in runs allowed per game during the month.

April performance

NL West standings

Team W L Pct GB Runs scored Runs allowed
Team W L Pct GB Runs scored Runs allowed
Rockies 16 10 0.615 --- 119 125
Diamondbacks 16 11 0.593 0.5 141 112
Dodgers 14 12 0.538 2.0 112 92
Padres 11 16 0.407 5.5 102 133
Giants 9 17 0.346 7.0 87 120

Record: 14-12
112 runs scored (4.31 per game)
92 runs allowed (3.54 per game)
.589 pythagorean winning percentage (15-11)

Game of the month

Down three runs to start the ninth inning on Apr. 28 against the Phillies, the Dodgers got back-to-back home runs from Yasiel Puig, Cody Bellinger, and Justin Turner to lead off the inning, tying the game. After the “absolute madness,” as Joe Davis described, the Dodgers cobbled together three singles in the inning to complete the comeback, stunning Philadelphia with a 6-5 win.

Miscellany

Adrian Gonzalez, who battled elbow inflammation in spring training, hit just .259/.337/.318 in April and played in all 26 games, starting 21. Gonzalez hit zero home runs in a month for the second time in his career. The other time was in September 2004 with the Rangers, in all of 13 plate appearances. Gonzalez had 96 PA in April.

Welcome aboard

Cody Bellinger made his major league debut on Apr. 25 in San Francisco.

Situational stats

Pinch hitting: Dodgers pinch hitters were 13-for-54 with two home runs and two doubles in April, hitting .241/.339/.389.

Runners in scoring position: The Dodgers hit .249/.359/.390 with RISP for April.

Bases loaded: The team was 6-for-23 for the month, including a grand slam by Joc Pederson on opening day. The club hit .261/.321/.435 with the bases loaded in April.

The month ahead

The Dodgers have a busy month in May, with 29 games in 31 days. That includes 16 home games, 13 road games, and 13 games against the National League West. Old friend Don Mattingly brings the Marlins to Dodger Stadium May 18-21.

A look back

April weeks in review: Apr. 10 | Apr. 17 | Apr. 23 | May 1

Stats

April batting

Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP SH SF PA BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP
Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP SH SF PA BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP
Turner 89 9 36 11 0 1 12 1 0 5 9 5 0 0 99 0.404 0.465 0.562 1.026 0.443
Seager 91 16 29 6 0 5 17 2 0 15 21 0 0 1 107 0.319 0.411 0.549 0.961 0.364
Puig 89 9 21 3 0 5 13 2 2 13 18 0 0 2 104 0.236 0.327 0.438 0.765 0.235
Toles 71 12 17 1 0 5 13 0 0 4 12 1 0 0 76 0.239 0.289 0.465 0.754 0.222
Forsythe 44 7 13 2 0 0 3 0 0 6 16 3 0 1 54 0.295 0.407 0.341 0.748 0.448
Grandal 71 8 16 4 0 3 7 0 0 11 19 0 1 1 84 0.225 0.325 0.408 0.734 0.260
Pederson 50 6 11 3 0 1 7 0 0 7 18 1 0 1 59 0.220 0.322 0.340 0.662 0.313
Gonzalez 85 6 22 5 0 0 10 0 0 10 14 0 0 0 95 0.259 0.337 0.318 0.654 0.310
Starters 590 73 165 35 0 20 82 5 2 71 127 10 1 6 678 0.280 0.363 0.441 0.804 0.323
Bellinger 21 3 6 0 0 2 2 0 0 3 5 0 0 0 24 0.286 0.375 0.571 0.946 0.286
Taylor 27 3 8 2 0 2 5 0 1 2 9 0 0 0 29 0.296 0.345 0.593 0.937 0.375
Hernandez 47 8 11 6 1 2 7 1 0 4 7 0 0 1 52 0.234 0.288 0.532 0.820 0.231
Barnes 26 6 6 2 1 1 2 1 0 3 8 0 0 0 29 0.231 0.310 0.500 0.810 0.294
Gutierrez 13 2 3 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 0 0 0 14 0.231 0.286 0.385 0.670 0.333
Van Slyke 31 5 4 1 0 1 2 1 0 5 12 0 0 0 36 0.129 0.250 0.258 0.508 0.167
Segedin 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 4 0.250 0.250 0.250 0.500 0.500
Eibner 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 5 0.200 0.200 0.200 0.400 0.500
Utley 41 6 5 1 0 0 1 0 0 5 6 0 0 0 46 0.122 0.217 0.146 0.364 0.143
Thompson 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 8 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Bench 223 34 45 14 2 8 19 3 2 23 59 0 0 1 247 0.202 0.275 0.390 0.665 0.236
Pitchers 46 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 16 1 7 0 59 0.109 0.212 0.109 0.320 0.167
Offense 859 112 215 49 2 28 101 8 4 99 202 11 8 7 984 0.250 0.333 0.410 0.743 0.294

April pitching

Pitcher G GS W L Sv IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP ERA WHIP FIP
Pitcher G GS W L Sv IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP ERA WHIP FIP
Urias 1 1 0 0 5.7 4 1 1 0 4 1 4 0 1.59 1.412 3.20
Kershaw 5 5 4 1 35.3 25 10 9 4 3 0 39 0 2.29 0.792 2.54
McCarthy 5 5 3 0 29.0 26 10 10 3 9 0 25 0 3.10 1.207 3.57
Wood 3 3 0 0 14.3 11 6 5 1 7 2 15 0 3.14 1.256 2.88
Hill 2 2 1 1 8.0 7 3 3 2 5 0 7 0 3.38 1.500 6.40
Ryu 5 5 1 4 26.7 27 12 12 6 8 0 29 2 4.05 1.313 4.90
Maeda 5 5 2 2 26.0 29 19 19 7 6 0 27 0 6.58 1.346 5.14
Starters 26 26 11 8 0 145.0 129 61 59 23 42 3 146 2 3.66 1.179 3.92
Wood 2 1 0 5.3 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 0 0.00 0.188 2.08
Baez 8 0 0 9.3 2 1 1 1 7 0 10 0 0.96 0.964 4.52
Fields 9 0 0 7.0 6 1 1 0 1 0 12 0 1.29 1.000 0.02
Jansen 10 1 0 7 9.7 8 2 2 0 0 0 17 0 1.86 0.828 -0.50
Avilan 13 0 0 8.3 7 2 2 0 4 1 8 0 2.16 1.320 2.18
Dayton 9 1 0 8.0 4 2 2 1 3 1 6 0 2.25 0.875 3.90
Stripling 9 0 2 14.0 18 6 6 0 3 1 15 0 3.86 1.500 1.31
Hatcher 8 0 1 13.7 14 7 6 2 4 0 15 0 3.95 1.317 3.61
Romo 11 0 1 8.3 10 9 9 1 7 1 9 0 9.72 2.040 4.58
Liberatore 1 0 0 0.3 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 27.00 6.001 12.02
Relievers 80 0 3 4 7 84.0 70 31 30 5 31 4 96 0 3.21 1.202 2.47
Totals 106 26 14 12 7 229.0 199 92 89 28 73 7 242 2 3.50 1.188 3.39