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The Difference a Month Can Make

Edwin Encarnacion, Miguel Cabrera and Yasiel Puig turned their seasons around in May, after getting a slow start out of the gate. Encarnacion had a ridiculous power surge and hit 16 home runs in May, after just 2 over the Toronto Blue Jays first 27 games. But even all of those home runs couldn't give Encarnacion more RBI in May than Cabrera's 34, one more than EE. Miggy made the most of his .380 BA in May, but it was Puig that led the MLB in hitting last month with a .398 AVG.

Encarnacion did not hit his 1st home run of the season until April 22nd. In May, he had 5 multi home run games, including back to back games on May 20th and 21st against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Encarnacion had 32 hits in May, 16 of them went over the fence. Yes, 50% of his hits were home runs!

That ties him with Mickey Mantle (1956) as the only American League players to hit 16 home runs in May. Barry Bonds (2001) has the National League record for May with 17. Sammy Sosa (1998) has the all-time record for home runs in any month with 20. - Hardball Talk

NameTeamApril HRs MayDiff
Edwin EncarnacionBlue Jays216 14
Nelson CruzOrioles7136
Miguel CabreraTigers286
Brandon MossAthletics495
Victor MartinezTigers495
Yasiel PuigDodgers385

11 times in May, Miggy had a multi RBI day. That is 1 more game than he went RBI- less in May.

NameTeamApril RBI MayDiff
Miguel CabreraTigers1534 19
Edwin EncarnacionBlue Jays1533 18
Pablo SandovalGiants619 13
Starling MartePirates314 11
Yasiel PuigDodgers1525 10
Hanley RamirezDodgers1121 10

Puig picked up 4 hits in 4 ABs on May 1st, and followed that up with 11 more multi hit games, including three 3 hit games. On top of all the hits, he added 17 walks, which was more than double his April total.

NameTeamApril HitsMayDiff
Yasiel PuigDodgers244319
Pablo SandovalGiants173417
Victor MartinezTigers254217
Miguel CabreraTigers264115
Nelson CruzOrioles253914
Denard SpanNationals2034 14

Mark Buehrle has been the pitching sensation of the 2014 MLB season.  Madison Bumgarner was the only other starting pitcher to go 5-0 in May. Masahiro Tanaka and Rick Porcello also won 5 games, but each suffered a loss. Tanaka suffered his 1st loss to the Chicago Cubs of all teams, and ironically enough Jeff Samardzija got his 1st win for the Cubs against the best team in baseball, the San Francisco Giants.

Phil Hughes looks really comfortable pitching for the Minnesota Twins, in that big ballpark instead of the bandbox called Yankee Stadium. After settling down in April, Hughes finished May with a 1.62 ERA, 2nd best to Samardzija. A big reason for his success? He walked 0 batters in May! His 24 K/BB was the best in baseball in May, ahead of 2nd best Doug Fister at 11.5.

NameTeamApril ERA MayDiff
Phil HughesTwins5.141.62 -3.52
Ubaldo JimenezOrioles6.593.12 -3.47
Jorge De La RosaRockies5.231.93 -3.30
Jarred CosartAstros5.522.76 -2.76
Kevin CorreiaTwins7.334.72 -2.61
Corey KluberIndians4.142.09 -2.05
Jered WeaverAngels4.001.98 -2.02
Stephen StrasburgNationals4.242.23 -2.01

Corey Kluber dominated opposing hitters in May with 60 strikeouts over 43 innings pitched and just 8 walks. That's a ridiculous 12.56 K/9! 7 other starters had at least 40 Ks but none had more than Bumgarner's 48.  Kluber joined an excluse list of Hall of Fame pitchers as the 10th starter to strikeout 60 batters and walk less than 10 in a single month since 1914.

NameTeamApril SO MayDiff
Corey KluberIndians3560 25
Ricky NolascoTwins1330 17
Ubaldo JimenezOrioles2138 17
Roenis EliasMariners2136 15
Julio TeheranBraves2640 14
Hiroki KurodaYankees1831 13
John DanksWhite Sox1831 13
Jason VargasRoyals2336 13