Los Angeles Dodgers: Details behind LA’s May resurgence
By Jamaal Artis
The Los Angeles Dodgers matched their April record in the month of May, going 16-11 once again, but appearances can be deceiving. The Dodgers started the month in a slump winning, just two games in their last 11 going into May 7th, sporting a mediocre 17-16 mark that mired them in the middle of the NL West.
Over the next three weeks of play, the Dodgers righted the ship, going 15-6 while losing just one series out of six and matching their longest winning streak of the season (eight games). The Dodgers were able to turn things around by hitting better, averaging .249 and scoring 155 runs in May compared to .234 and scoring 127 runs in April.
Another good indicator for the team was the return of players from the IL; David Price, Cody Bellinger, and Zach McKinstry all returned to reinforce a weakened roster. The Dodgers’ turnaround came from many sources, and here were some highlights for the month of May.
Dodgers get double dose of good rehab news Tuesday night
The Los Angeles Dodgers got twice the good OKC rehab news Tuesday night, with Zach McKinstry and Cody Bellinger revving up.
Dodgers Need Help? Call Lux
The Dodgers lost Corey Seager for an estimated 4-6 weeks after an HBP broke his hand. While Dodgers fans panicked, a solution presented itself. Enter Gavin Lux.
Lux upped his game in May, taking over the shortstop position and doing damage at the plate. For the month, Lux hit .286 compared to just .179 in April. Lux hit five home runs and drove in 19 runs after being homer-less in April, driving in a paltry six runs in that month.
Lux may have provided the moment of the turnaround on May 11th when facing the Seattle Mariners. With the Dodgers down 4-3 and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Lux hit a three-run home run to turn a loss into a win. From then on, the Dodgers went 12-1, with Lux hitting .354, driving in 15 runs, and scoring 10 runs himself. That proved Lux could step up when the chips were down.
Perhaps the most interesting story of the May was the signing of Albert Pujols.
The Dodgers shocked most by signing Pujols after he was waived by local rival the Los Angeles Angels. The 41-year-old Pujols, in his 21st year of Major League Baseball, was struggling terribly with the Angels, hitting .198 in 24 games with them.
With the Dodgers, Pujols has been a little bit more effective in providing right-handed power. Though he’s only hitting .237, Pujols has hit three home runs and has driven in 10 runs in just 12 games. As Dodgers regulars continue to come back from injury, look for Pujols to provide some spot starts against left-handed pitching and pop off the bench.
The Dodgers start June in third place in a top-heavy NL West, but if they play as they did during their resurgence in May, expect them to be in first play as the calendar turns to July. There is some welcoming news coming in June, too.
Starting June 15, Dodger Stadium can be at full capacity, so the players can expect to hear a loud stadium again when they perform at their peak for the first time since 2019.