After blowing a late lead on Tuesday in the series opener, the Dodgers handed the ball to Noah Syndergaard as the Dodgers, and he personally, looked to get back on track. Mookie Betts started the party early with his 42nd career leadoff homer, 22nd as a Dodger, but the Reds responded every time the Dodgers threw a punch. After being knotted at 6-6 for five innings, Cincinnati prevailed on Will Benson’s two-run walk-off homer, his first career home run.
Here are two takeaways from the loss:
There’s no fun way to write about a failed experiment. Andrew Friedman took a chance on Noah Syndergaard and Noah Syndergaard has been incredibly disappointing. Given his comments following his last start, he’d be the first to tell you that. The story following Syndergaard’s last two starts has been the same so I’ll keep this one brief. The DFA is coming.
Syndergaard has benefitted from the fact that the Dodger rotation is incredibly thin with Urias, May, and Ryan Pepiot on the IL, not to mention Walker Buehler who has been on the shelf for just under a year. That being said, the Dodgers need to try something else. After giving up six earned runs in three innings tonight, Syndergaard’s ERA sits at 7.16. The Dodgers have lost eight of his 12 starts, including the last four.
At this point, give Gavin Stone another shot at the rotation. The young right-hander struggled in his first few big league appearances, but there’s no way for a guy like him to get better other than working through the struggles at the big league level. Throw him right back into the fire. Even if he struggles, the Dodgers are able to gather plenty of information on a top prospect that they view as a key part of their future rotation.
There is no reason to put Syndergaard, who has virtually zero chance of making a playoff roster, back on the mound. Release him and move on.
Dodger fans, meet Elly De La Cruz
Baseball’s next star has arrived.
In just two games, Elly De La Cruz has shown why he is one of the game’s top prospects with more hype around him than he knows what to do with. Ranked the No. 4 overall prospect by MLB.com, De La Cruz launched his first big league homer on Wednesday night, a 458 foot moonshot off of Syndergaard.
At 21 years old, 6-feet 5-inches, De La Cruz has all the makings of a future superstar. He doesn’t get cheated. His swing is violent in the best way. He fires the ball across the infield and runs the bases like a gazelle. Through two games, De La Cruz owns MLB’s fastest home-to-third speed this season (10.83 seconds on his 3rd inning triple) and Cincinnati’s hardest hit ball of the year.
With Hunter Greene, De La Cruz, Matt McClain and Spencer Steer, the Reds have put together a very solid young core to play alongside Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson.
Clayton Kershaw takes the mound tomorrow as the Dodgers look to avoid the sweep. First pitch is scheduled for 9:35 am PST.