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Recap: Top Performers for the Dodgers in May



Record During the Month: 14-14

The Dodgers began and ended the month of May with a start by Clayton Kershaw. In between those starts, they were without their ace pitcher as he dealt with bicep tendonitis. Playing without Kershaw, the Dodgers depended on unexpected heros to lead the ballclub.

 

Matt Kemp:

May Stats: (.361/.379/.557, 3 home runs, 17 RBI)

After a stellar April to open the 2018 season, Matt Kemp doubled down in his success in May. He was a hit machine throughout the month, recording 35 hits in just 24 games. His success at the plate gave him the National League lead for the batting title with a .345 average on the year.

Kemp also leads the team with his 30 RBI and is tied for third with seven home runs this season.

Max Muncy:

May Stats (.261/.381/.551, 5 home runs, 15 RBI)

The way that Chris Taylor came out of nowhere to become an unsung hero in 2017, Max Muncy is doing the same in 2018. At the beginning of the month, Muncy was batting just .207 and his presence in the lineup card was turning some heads.

Now, Muncy is batting towards the top of the lineup and is both reaching base and hitting for power at a consistent level. His production forced Cody Bellinger to move to center field and Muncy does not look to head back to Oklahoma City anytime soon.

Walker Buehler:

May Stats: (2-1, 2.32 ERA)

Walker Buehler began the month pitching the game of his life. With the Dodgers playing in Monterrey, Mexico, against the San Diego Padres, Buehler pitched six innings of hitless ball in the team’s first ever combined no-hitter.

Out of his five starts in May, Buehler only had one start where he struggled. In each his four other starts, he went at least six innings while allowing two runs or less. He also struck out 48 batters in 41 innings in May.

Ross Stripling:

May Stats: (3-0, 1.20 ERA)

At the start of May, Ross Stripling came out of the Dodger bullpen. Due to injuries in the rotation, Chicken Strip became the Dodger starter.

He made five starts in May and allowed two runs or less in each start. He also increased his strikeout rate, sitting down 41 batters in 30 innings. In his last three starts, Stripling has gone at least six innings while striking out at least nine batters.

Kenley Jansen:

May Stats: (9 saves, 0.60 ERA)

To begin the month, the topic of Kenley Jansen was of great concern to Dodgers fans. He had lost his velocity and his ERA was above 5.00. In May, Jansen has returned to his familiar form. He allowed only one run the entire month and has not allowed a run since May 2. His ERA dropped to 2.55 and if he continues to succeed, he can make his third straight all-star game.

 

Analysis:

The month of May was a tale of two halves for the Dodgers. During the first half of the month, they went 4-10 despite playing the three worst teams in the National League in the San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds and Miami Marlins.  They picked up their production with Justin Turner returning to the lineup, going 10-4 during the second half of the month. Although Kershaw appears to be heading back to the DL, the Dodgers should be able to maintain their momentum in his absence in June.

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Written by Arthur Cribbs

Arthur Cribbs is a journalism student at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He is a lifelong Dodgers fan and when he is not at school, he resides in Los Angeles.

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