Tuesday, June 2, 2015

While We Wait: MLB’s Best & Worst from the month of May

You probably already know that Bryce Harper led the majors with 13 homers in May and perhaps even that Ricky Nolasco, Max Scherzer, and A.J. Burnett led the majors with five May wins. Or that the Giants won 21 games in May and the Red Sox, Marlins, and Athletics each lost 19 games in the month, but here are some May leaders and losers you may not know about:

The Mets did not hit for the cycle in May. The team totaled 214 hits including 35 doubles and 28 homers, but no triples.

For those teams scouting Cole Hamels, there was plenty to judge. Hamels threw 650 pitches in May, second only to free agent-to-be David Price, who threw 656.

Windy City, indeed. The Cubs swung and missed 576 times in May, striking out 226 times - most of any club.

The Cardinals got their money's worth out of Seth Maness - the reliever appeared in 16 games, more than any other pitcher.

Corey Kluber pitched 42 2/3 innings in May and struck out 60 batters (walking just six) while Michael Pineda pitched 33 innings and walked just three (striking out 35).

Jason Kipnis got off to a slow start this season hitting just .218 in April, turn the calendar to May and he was baseball's leading hitter - batting .429 and reaching base 73 times, more than any other batter.

Moneyball still lives in Oakland. The A's were the only team without a sacrifice bunt in May.

The crazy eights of May included Twins starter Kyle Gibson inducing eight double plays while Joe Mauer and Ryan Zimmerman each hit into eight DPs.

Red Sox DH David Ortiz batted .214 in May, part of an anemic Boston offensive attack. Barely beating – the heart of the Red Sox batting order (the 3-4-5 hitters) combined to hit .216 in May, the lowest of any team.

Pitcher Tyson Ross has no future as a night watchman - in May, he allowed 14 stolen bases.

Colorado's Charlie Blackmon had a rocky month of May, getting hit by seven pitches.

Kolten Wong, Kipnis, and A.J. Pollock each had 16 hits from the seventh inning on, the most in May baseball.

Dee Gordon stole a dozen bases in May, which is more than 10 team totals, and more than twice as many as the Dodgers, who only stole five.

The A's watched a lot baseball in May – actually they watched 907 pitches for called strikes, the most of any team. The Royals took only 572 strikes all month.

Paul Goldschmidt and Kipnis each had 19 two-strike hits, while Tim Hudson, John Danks, and Ian Kennedy each allowed 19 two-strike hits.

Ichiro Suzuki continued his drive to 3,000 hits with 18 hits, all singles, the most hits without an extra-base hit of any May batter.

Joc Pederson struck out 20 times leading off an inning.

Brandon Crawford had 16 hits with runners in scoring position, more than any other May batter.

Yunel Escobar had 14 first-pitch hits in May, the most of any batter.

Goldschmidt drew three intentional walks in Arizona's last game in May. Goldschmidt had nine IBB in the month, the most of any batter.

Jose Quintana and Chris Tillman each endured five losses.

Blue Jays pitchers only picked up one save in the entire month; then again, they led the majors with four complete games.

Glen Perkins of the Twins earned 13 saves in the month, Minnesota had 14, the most of any team
April showers brings May flowers, but the White Sox' Tyler Flowers only hit .188 with one homer and five RBI in 21 games in May.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)