As Muncy Goes, So Goes the Dodgers – Weekly Recap: May 10-16
Much is said about Turner and Kershaw and Betts as leaders in the clubhouse, but if there’s a on-the-field bellwether, then Max Muncy just might be that for the Dodgers. As Muncy goes, so goes the Dodgers might be a little bit of a stretch, but when Maxwell’s silver hammer heats up, the other bats do seem to follow suit. This homestand stretch lent even more credibility to the theory.
Max vs the Mariners
May 11 – Gets the Best of Kikuchi
Starter Yusei Kikuchi came in hot for the Marlins, striking out eleven on the night, two of those on Muncy at-bats. But Muncy took him deep in the fourth on a 92 MPH pitch down the middle to get the ball rolling for the Dodgers, who came back from a three run deficit to win 4-6. He also made a hell of a catch at the net in the seventh to set Ty France for the first out of the inning.
May 12 – On Base All Night
A stellar game from Max both in the box and on the field. In the top of the fourth, he made an almost identical to the previous game in-the-netting catch against Kyle Lewis, this time to end the inning. He also had a few tough catches dug out for outs at first.
In the box, Max also shone with a leadoff walk in the second and another walk in the fourth, both against starter Justin Dunn. In that inning, he came around to score on a bases-loaded 2 RBI hit from Matt Beaty. Fifth inning, Max turned an 84 mph pitch around for a two-run homer against reliever Will Vest, putting the Dodgers on the board and setting the tone for the rest of the game. He reached again in the seventh on a single and came around to score on an AJ Pollock pinch hit. Muncy played a huge roll in securing a Dodgers sweep of the Mariners.
May 13 – Off Day for the Dodgers
Max vs the Marlins
May 14 – Home Run Streak Extended
Muncy extended his home run streak to three games with an absolute monster of a hit to right center, scoring Mookie Betts and Corey Seager along the way. The 424 ft blast was caught by a fan in the stands, making this a game that she will never forget! The no-doubt dinger also chased starter Sandy Alcantara from the game. He also hit a single in the seventh, but was left on base. His other two at-bats were strikeouts, but Max did more than enough to push the team towards victory this game.
May 15 – Three Hits
His first at-bat was a strikeout, but he would not stay down for long. He hit a sharp line drive to center for a single in the fourth, scoring on a Gavin Lux ground out. He also singled in the 5th to score Betts but was left on base. Then he singled once more in the seventh, again left on base.
May 16 – Moves Up in the Batting Order
Muncy moved up in the batting order to second for this game, but struggled at the plate. He got a leadoff single but was left on base and did not reach again in the rest of the game. The Dodgers dropped this one, though it was more to the excellence of former Dodger relievers Dylan Floro and Yimi Garcia than Max’s overall performance.
There was an interesting incident just after the end of the game, when Garcia picked up a ball and threw it towards the Dodger dugout. Muncy appears to have caught the ball and thrown it back on the field. Muncy then proceeded to look grumpy and mumble to other in the dugout, but it was unclear what exactly happened and no one has really talked about it. Given that Max’s three natural states are grumpy, grinning, and get-it-out-of-the-ocean, I think folks might be reading more into the situation than is merited.
Speaking of oceans, this week, it’s possible we’ll have a repeat Mad Max vs. MadBum showdown when Madison Bumgarner comes to town, albeit without a nearby body of water. Since Bumgarner’s move to the Diamondbacks, his ERA has been less than stellar, posting a 6.48 last year. His 4.12 this year comes with the caveat of a seven game no-hitter controversy. I’m sure Max will find a way to let his feelings out at the plate.
Overall, Max’s walk count was lower – just three this week – but in its place came monster productive swings. That’s a tradeoff Dodger fans are happy for him to make
R: 6 (25)
Hits: 9 (32)
RBI: 7 (23)
AB: 18 (123)
BB: 3 (36)
IBB: 0 (4)
2B: 0 (3)
3B: 0 (1)
HR: 3 (8)
SB: 0 (0)
To read about the reemergence of Mad Max the Road Warrior, click here.
Photo Credit – Michael Owens/Getty Images