The call to the post in the month of May signals the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. For baseball purists, May is simply the 2nd full month of the season as we head toward the sweltering days of summer. And for die-hard baseball fans that enjoy handicapping America s pastime, it also signals the arrival of our annual May Good Month/Bad Month pitchers report.
Listed below are hurlers that have enjoyed a two-to-one or better success ratio in team-starts over the course of the last three seasons during the month of May. On the flip side, we've also listed pitchers that struggle in May, winning 33% percent or less of their team-start efforts. To qualify pitchers must have made a minimum of 10 starts, with at least one start each May over the last three years. And for your convenience alongside each record, we break down each pitcher s greatest success or greatest failure rate either home (H) or away (A) within his good or bad month.
Note: * designates a categorical repeat appearance by this pitcher, maintaining status quo from last season s May list.
GOOD MONTH PITCHERS:
*Greinke, Zack 10-5 (7-2 H)
The 35-year old right-hander does not have the same zip on the fastball, but he does not walk hitters, allows less than a hit an inning and does not beat himself. The beat goes on for Greinke.
Happ, J.A. 8-4 (5-2 H)
After a slow start with Yankees this season, Happ started heading back to career norms in his few starts in April. However, there is something not everyone realizes: he's had five straight years of 10+ wins.
*Kershaw, Clayton 11-3 (5-1 A)
Like the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, Kershaw has been the best pitcher in baseball for a decade. A few recent injuries have some folks wanting to anoint others and the fact is he doesn't throw mid-90's anymore and he gives up a few more home runs. Still, the lefty is still among the best in the sport.
Miley, Wade 8-4 (5-2 A)
Miley was basically a below average pitcher for the majority of his career. At 30-years old and becoming increasingly ineffective, Miley began learning to throw a 'cutter' in his bullpen work, seeing if it was worth a try and what do you, it worked. The lefthander has gone from a long reliever on bad teams to a solid back of the rotation starter on playoff contenders like Houston this year for example. Kudos to him.
*Price, David 9-3 (5-0 H)
The Boston port-sider has made the transition from power pitcher to complete pitcher. With a quality of assortment of off-speed pitches, this has made his fastball appear quicker and he still has excellent movement on tosses down in the zone.
Rodriguez, Eduardo 10-2 (6-1 A)
The Red Sox have always loved Rodriguez ability if not his results. After another typical slow start, the left-hander was sharper at the end of the month and he gave credit to teammate second baseman Dustin Pedroia for showing him a new grip for his curveball that gave him more downward movement. Let's see if that continues.
*Sale, Chris 12-6 (6-3 A)
Chris Sale starts May 0-5 with an unthinkable 6.30 ERA. Sale's career ERA is below 3.00 and his velocity is down dramatically, 4 to 6 MPH on the heater, and nobody understands why other than possibly the postseason innings from last fall. A developing story for certain.
Scherzer, Max 11-5 (6-2 H)
At 1-3 with an ERA of 4.12, are we seeing Scherzer starting to show the signs of age creeping up on him at 34? It's too early to say for sure but opposing batters are hitting .257 against Mad Max versus .223 - which is career number. Maybe Scherzer needs a little more time to settle in for 2019.
Severino, Luis 11-5 (7-3 H)
On the 60-day IL and probably won't even start throwing until June.
Strasburg, Stephen 15-1 (8-0 A)
Normally a fast starter, Strasburg stumbled at the start with an ERA of 5.56 after four outings. However, he must have sensed May was coming and allowed two runs in two starts over 15 innings, fanning 20, walking three, on just four hits. The right-hander is just money in May.
Wainwright, Adam 10-2 (6-1 H)
The former St. Louis ace is not the same hurler at 37, yet, he's capable for five to six good innings for three to four starts out of every five made. To this point of the season, Wainwright has been much tougher in right-hand batters compared to lefty's (.223 vs .300 BA)
BAD MONTH PITCHERS:
Urena, Jose 3-9 (1-5 H)
Urena is pitching as poorly as the team he's on in Miami with a 1-4 record and a 5.08 ERA. He's permitted 43 hits on only 33.2 innings and opposing batters are knocking him around for a .300 BA and .353 OBP. Ouch!
Contributions from Doug Upstone of VegasProInsidersDaily.com
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