Hanley Ramirez #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 at Dodger Stadium on June 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers have won 8 of 9 games and finally have something to celebrate about.
While the Dodgers have the day off and travel to Colorado, it is time to look back at how they played last month. The month of June provided some of the highest highs and lowest lows of the 2013 season.
The Dodgers started June 7.5 games back in the NL West and eight games under .500. They had just lost Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp to hamstring injuries and Hanley Ramirez was still recovering from one, too.
With all the injuries the Dodgers needed to call up another outfielder, but not just someone to fill the hole in the lineup, they needed a difference maker. This is why they gambled on their 22-year old Cuban prospect, Yasiel Puig, calling him up to the majors after just 262 Minor League at bats.
Puig was called up during the first homestand of the month, starting June 3. The team won four out of five games, and Puig was setting himself up for a historic month where he stacked up the
He finished the first month of his career with a ridiculous line of .437/.467/.713, with seven home runs, five doubles, one triple and 16 RBI.
There may have been a rushed sense of optimism upon Puig’s call-up, because after winning four of five the team hit a stretch of June Gloom. In twelve games from June 8-21 they went 3-9, falling 12 games under .500 and 9.5 back in the NL West.
Puig could not carry this team alone, that is why the return of Hanley Ramirez from the disabled list, truly was the turning point for this ball club in June. Ramirez recovered from a hamstring injury, but was not completely ready when he returned, so he was mainly used as a pinch hitter between June 4-18.
Since the 19th, Ramirez has been tearing it up. In 12 starts he is 21-43 with five home runs, 15 RBI, three doubles, three stolen bases, four walks and just three strikeouts for twelve game hitting streak.
The Dodgers hit their stride during this time, winning six in a row, and finishing the month losing just one of their last nine games.
It has been particularly exciting to watch this team play lately. They are energized in a way that has not been seen since Opening Day, and Dodger Stadium is simply buzzing every night. It is such a joy to be a part of.
Overall the Dodgers were 15-13 in June. They now sit five games back in the NL West, and four games under .500.
The rest of the NL West has struggled lately, and the Dodgers have taken advantage. They had the best record of the month in the division, tied with San Diego, while Colorado, Arizona, and San Francisco combined to go 12 games under .500 in June.
Other notable headlines in June include: Matt Kemp’s healthy return, Stephen Fife’s fantastic rookie pitching, Chris Capuano’s two wins on three days rest, Kenley Jansen taking over the closer role, and Luis Cruz getting DFA’d.
The Dodgers kick off July playing the Rockies at Coors Field. They started June by losing two games there, but they return with a completely different roster and a two-game winning streak.