When the Los Angeles Dodgers started the month of April, they were still in Spring Training due to the end of the owners’ lockout that lasted 99 days … but the season’s delayed start did not slow down this team.
It wasn’t a perfect month, but the Dodgers finished April at 13-7, good for second in the NL West behind those pesky San Francisco Giants (will they ever regress?).
Even with the shortened month and occasional weak performances, there’s still the good and bad to look back on for the month of April, and, as always, the numbers will do the talking.
Despite age and wear and tear, Clayton Kershaw used the month of April to temporarily silence his doubters by posting a 2.35 ERA.
Kershaw led a pitching staff that is tops in most pitching categories, including ERA, runs, hits, and walks. Kershaw himself went 3-0 with 30 strikeouts and just six walks in 23 innings pitched.
Kershaw was perfect for seven innings against the Minnesota Twins, striking out 13 in his season debut, and on Saturday night he broke the Dodgers’ all-time strikeout record, passing Don Sutton.
While the Dodgers’ pitching has been outstanding, the hitting has felt like boom or bust. As a team, the Dodgers have 155 hits, good for 12th in the NL. But they’ve scored 96 runs, which is fifth in the league!
When the Dodgers score, they score in bunches, which means the droughts feel a lot worse once they take centerstage. Their last two games of April illustrated this perfectly. Against the Detroit Tigers on Friday, the Dodgers scored at least a run in innings 1-4 to win 5-1 … and then proceeded to score just one run over the next 13 innings to lose Saturday’s game (also 5-1).
It’s early, but the boom-or-bust offense will probably get fixed. Here’s to hoping the team isn’t too far behind in the standings when it happens.
It’s early, I know, I keep saying it, but you have to think a team that sports a lineup with three former MVPs isn’t going to be dynamic at home (.778) and just OK on the road (.545) all season.
The disconcerting part of their home-road split isn’t the raw numbers, it’s where they struggled on the road. The Dodgers won every series this season except for two — in Colorado and Arizona.
The Dodgers went a collective 2-4 against the Rockies and Diamondbacks, hitting just two home runs in what are pretty decent hitter parks. It was the terrible left-handed-hitting that struggled. In Colorado, lefties hit .188, and in Arizona they hit .182. For a team that relies heavily on slugging from left-handers (think Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy, and Cody Bellinger), this trend will hopefully normalize as the season goes on.
That’s it for April! Let’s hope for an even more dominant May, Dodgers fans!