The Los Angeles Dodgers may very well be happy to see the month of May in the rear view mirror. It included the longest road trip of the season, and most a stretch where they played 31 games in 30 days.
It also included playing both teams from Pennsylvania both home and away, and they had a hard time with both. The Dodgers ended May with two home loses to the Pittsburgh Pirates, in both games spotting the Buccos four runs early in the game and never being able to secure the win.
The Pirates have now won all but one game against the Dodgers this year, not including Wednesday evening’s contest, and the Phillies took their series against the Boys in Blue 4-3.
The Dodgers are no doubt tired after playing so many games in a row and traveling all around the country in which to do so. Still, this schedule was supposed to be pretty easy for them through the month of May. They finished 20- 10, good enough for .667 percentage, but easily could’ve won a free more games.
But in that time, they have managed to distance themselves some from the rest of the NL West. The Dodgers sit atop the division with a record of 33-16, and have a 3.0 game lead over the San Diego Padres, and a 5.5 game lead over the San Francisco Giants.
There is good news on the injury front, as far as the staring rotation is concerned. Both Andrew Heaney and Clayton Kershaw have done well with their recoveries, and are expected to head out on rehab assignments soon.
Heaney only threw 10.1 innings before he landed on the injured list in April. After more than a month of recovery, he has thrown a few bullpen sessions, and faced live batters on Monday.
“It went really well. I feel good and kind of ready to get back into compete mode,” Heaney said about his simulated game. “First time facing hitters, and I think in five days I’ll throw in a game. I feel good and I’m ready to go.”
“I didn’t throw for almost three weeks, so once I started throwing I felt good,” Heaney went on to say. “That was kind of the main thing. Like, ‘Hey, we’re not going to try and rush this and have setbacks and rest and all that. It’s got to be 100%.’”
Heaney is on track to start a rehab assignment this weekend in Triple-A Oklahoma City, and will appear in anywhere from two to four starts.
Kershaw has not been out as long as Heaney, going on the IL May 13th with a pelvic inflammation. His destination for his rehab assignment has yet to be announced, but he is expected to make a start this weekend, and will be limited to only three innings.
Max Muncy has been put on the IL to help his elbow, and his mental state, time to recover. Muncy has not looked like his old self since his season ending injury in October. While still taking a ton of walks, he was not getting hits.
“It just flared up a little bit,” Muncy said. “[Going on the IL will] just give it a chance to calm down. It also happens to come at a good time mentally. Just take a step back, let it heal and come back ready to help this team win going forward.”
Kevin Pillar has been with the big league club as a replacement bat, and has struggled in his time so far with the team. He is 0-11 so far at the plate, but has made from great catches in the outfield. His contract has an opt-out date of June 1 if still in Triple-A. It remains to be seen how long the Dodgers give him to start hitting before they consider DFA’ing him.
The Dodgers have one game remaining with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, and then open a four game set against the red hit New York Mets for the weekend, and then finally will have an off day on Monday, before heading off on another road trip to Chicago and San Francisco.