Dodgers fall short in series opener against Reds, 6-5

Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Bobby Miller settled in, but Yency Almonte's struggles were too much for the offense to overcome

There was a comeback tonight by the Dodgers, but they could not complete it like they did Monday night. After going down 3-0 early, and then 6-2, the Dodgers charged back to make it a one run game but fell just short to the Cincinnati Reds Friday night.

Bobby Miller was roughed up in the first inning but ended up settling down and going five innings, giving up six hits, and three earned runs with six strikeouts. After the three run first inning, he settled down and started to find his command, which led to some swings and misses. Miller kept the Dodgers within striking distance and looked sharp with his pitch arsenal after struggling to find his command early. 

After Miller came Yency Almonte, who up to Friday night’s game had been on a long scoreless streak since June 14th. Tonight, he surrendered his first run since then and more, giving up three runs in only ⅓ of an inning. The bullpen cleaned up after him however, as they shut down the upstart Reds on the backs of Phil Bickford, Caleb Ferguson, and Alex Vesia. 

The Dodgers offense held up pretty well tonight despite the struggles of the pitching staff, scoring five runs on a whopping twelve hits. They actually outhit Cincinnati by four hits, led by two hit games from Freddie Freeman, J.D. Martinez, Amed Rosario (his first two as a Dodger) and David Peralta. Peralta in fact, came in to pinch hit and went 2-2, providing a spark to the offense. He is now 6-13 with two home runs in pinch hit situations this year.

In the seventh, the Dodgers rallied to make it a one run game off the bat of Freddie Freeman and newcomer Amed Rosario in his Dodger debut. Freeman singled two home to make it 6-4 and immediately after him, Rosario lined an RBI single to center to cut the deficit to one.

The Reds pitching did a fantastic job of holding the offense to just those five runs, forcing Dodger hitters into multiple double plays and thwarting rallies after that seventh inning. The All-Star closer Alexis Diaz came on for a four out save and shut down the best chunk of the Dodger lineup to seal the victory for the Reds in the series opener.

Here are my three takeaways from the game: 

Amed Rosario Looks Like A New Player  

Well technically he is a new player, but Amed Rosario looks like a refreshed player on both sides of the ball. There were a lot of question marks about his defense and his power coming into Friday night’s  debut, but he answered a few of those quickly. His defense actually looked superb, making sliding stops and handling multiple tough ground balls with ease. Not to mention, he had two clutch hits to get the offense going and keep the train moving which is something that he was known for in 2022. Last year, Rosario had such a good year offensively that some Guardian fans were saying that they won the Francisco Lindor trade. Now, that may not be true anymore now that he was traded away so soon, but real baseball fans know that there is a lot of talent still in Rosario’s tank, and the Dodgers are hoping to get as much out of him as possible. 

Pitching Staff Still Has Question Marks    

Although Bobby Miller settled down after an inauspicious start, he did struggle early and has shown to struggle with command this year. While Miller is still one of the Dodgers best options with Clayton Kershaw out and Walker Buehler on the mend, there is still concern for the starting staff. Not to mention, the bullpen hasn’t been as sharp as they were in June and the first half of July either. There should be bigger moves to be made to ensure a solid staff going into the playoffs.  

Dodgers Trade for Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly  

Friday morning the Dodgers acquired familiar face Joe Kelly and former Cy Young candidate Lance Lynn from the Chicago White Sox in return for Trayce Thompson, Nick Nastrini, and Jordan Leasure. They also designated Justin Bruihl and Eddys Leonard in order to make room on the 40-man roster. I know what everyone is thinking: These are not the moves that we expected from a team that should be going all in. However, even though I don’t like the deals, I know there is more to come and with that in mind, it makes the deal a little easier to swallow. Lynn has not been good this year as well as Kelly, but with the guru’s that the Dodgers have in the pitching department, they must see something they can fix, much like they have done with other players that were underperforming. 

Emmett Sheehan will look to bounce back against Luke Weaver for the Reds Saturday night. The first pitch is set for 6:10 PM PST.