After getting off to a slow start in May, the Los Angeles Dodgers finished the month by winning 14 of their final 19 games. A key part to their turnaround was the offense returning to form, led by Max Muncy putting together a tremendous showing at the plate.
The 30-year-old’s batting average increased by over 100 points from April and his slugging percentage rose more than 300 points as well. He batted an overall .330/.440/.714 with five doubles, 10 home runs and 19 RBI in 109 plate appearances (26 games).
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was always confident Muncy’s bat would come around. “I think he started off well, then there was two weeks where I thought he started to expand a little bit, then he got back,” Roberts said.
“I think since the last part of Milwaukee or Chicago, he’s been great. The hitting guys have worked through some mechanics. Max, you could argue right now, is one of the top two or three baseball players in the game; playing the best in the game right now.”
Muncy not only is reaching base at a high clip and hitting for power, he’s also thriving against left-handed pitching. He enters play Tuesday with a stellar .283/.465/.585 batting line against the same split.
“He hits left, hits right, he takes the walk, he can hit to all fields, he can play first at a Gold Glove level and you can push him over to second base to give other guys runways to make your team better,” Roberts said of what makes Muncy an all-around player.
Roberts believes Muncy fully recovered from a finger fracture suffered in Summer Camp by last October, which coincided with him finding more success in the postseason. “The fracture healed and I thought the ball in, he wasn’t afraid or worried about getting hit again,” Roberts noted.
“I think it started in the postseason and picked up where it left off this spring and throughout the season.”
Muncy humbled to reach 100 career home runs
While the Dodgers dropped a recent weekend series to the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium, the finale was special for Muncy as he launched the 100th home run of his career.
“I was aware of it,” he said after the 5-4 loss. “It was one of those things where my family made sure I was aware of it. After [Saturday] night, they said one more. It’s pretty special. It’s a pretty cool number.
“It’s a lot of home runs in the big leagues and never something I thought I’d get to, especially with how my career started. So for me, it means a lot. But I would’ve rather had the victory. That’s just kind of how I’ve always been. Hopefully [Monday] we can get the ship righted.”
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