Is May for lovers? Do people say that*? Hell if I know, but the Dodgers began the month at 10-14 in the NL West's cellar. And to make matters worse on May 7, owner Frank McCourt was forced to dole out a cool 637K to his ex wife every month. And she sucks. But lo and behold, just a couple days after the Ides, Frank's boys are getting lucky on the field. 7 in a row, 9 of ten and 11-3 overall for the month. This weekend's sweep happened all over the first place Padres, bringing LA to within 2 games of the lead. So what happened?
Like a handful of the modified belt sanders I watched race this weekend, some teams just get off to slow starts. And for the Dodgers that was particularly true of their starting pitching. Our old friend Tony Jackson works over at ESPN Los Angeles these days (<3 u Tony) and has, thankfully, done the math that I'm too lazy to.
The quartet of Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Hiroki Kuroda and rookie John Ely having gone a combined 7-2 with a 3.16 ERA thus far in May. The bullpen, meanwhile, has allowed two earned runs in 17 2/3 innings during the winning streak, a collective ERA of 1.02.
The team also put up a heap of runs against Arizona last week, but scored only 9 in this series and won yesterday's game on just two hits. Andre Ethier and Rafael Furcal are both out, but Russell Martin has stepped into the breach, with a game winning RBI that extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
So what's at stake for the Dodgers as they try to stay hot this week during a pair of two game (boo) series against the Lastros and Pads (again)? With a volatile owner's suite, a shaky and oft criticized GM, a manager that is both old and pretty well accomplished already and the most mercurial star in the league, continued trouble could have sent this club into a severe panic mode. Rob and I had joked about Torre getting the axe earlier in the season, and while that wasn't going to happen, seeing the now 70 year old manager cite "personal reasons" for leaving the club while they hung below .500 all year wouldn't have been surprising. Seeing Ned Colletti engineer an alimony fueled fire sale at the trade deadline could also have been epic.
One half of one month does not a season make, and with the exception of Billingsley, there isn't a guy in that hot rotation who has proven that he can stay consistent over an entire season. But here in May the Dodgers have, for now, pulled their 2010 season out of the pyre, and I am glad to have them. Who really wants the Padres to win anything?
* probably not, but I found out it's Mediterranean Month whilst researching the delicious lentil salad that I'm eating.