Dodgers’ skid continues as Mets win series opener

Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Bullpen falters late as offense continues to sputter.

LOS ANGELES – The Mets continued their hot streak with a convincing 9-4 victory over a team searching for answers in the Dodgers. 

Young right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto (1-1) took the mound for Los Angeles and while he did struggle early on, settled in to only allow three earned runs over six innings pitched. The bullpen however faltered late, giving up five runs in three innings to decide the result of the game. 

The veteran lefty Sean Manaea (1-1) toed the rubber for the Mets and did an admirable job against the potent offense of the Dodgers. He went five innings, giving up only four hits and two earned runs while striking out three. 

While the Dodger offense did come alive to tie the ballgame at four in the sixth inning, they were still 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left ten on base. A consistent theme over this tough stretch for the team has been their inability to drive in runs when they need and come up clutch. 

On Friday, that trend continued to give them their fifth loss in seven games. 

The Dodgers are now 12-10 on the season.  

Here are my three takeaways:

Yamamoto’s domestic ERA is now 2.57 which shows that he has been much better since his rough inning in South Korea. The electric right-hander out of Japan has shown some signs of getting through adversity, especially in the opener against the Mets. 

He threw the most innings in his young major league career at six, while striking out nine (also a career high), and crafting 17 whiffs of Mets’ bats. It is a great sign for the Dodgers that he is not only facing adversity, but overcoming it in most starts. 

While he didn’t have his best stuff early on, he managed to navigate his way into only giving up three earned runs. 

Something is off with Freddie Freeman. This is by far his worst stretch as a Dodger, and his average has now dipped to a daunting .259 after an 0 for 5 performance with 3 strikeouts. 

He is just 3 for 27 in the seven games played in the current homestand and has looked lost at the plate in most at-bats. 

This is completely uncharacteristic for such an elite hitter and mind in Freeman, so while there is slight concern, there is also some optimism because it is still the middle of April.  

Chris Taylor finally broke out of his season-long slump with a two-run single to tie the game in the sixth inning, but after that, it was a complete reversal in energy and vibes in the Dodgers’ dugout. 

The team is now hovering close to .500 at 12-10, barely holding on to the first palace spot in the NL West. Since the Dodgers swept the Giants, they have gone 5-8 and have looked like a shell of the team that opened the season on such a great run. 

You can look at some of the stats across the board and they won’t look too bad (Betts, Ohtani, Smith and Teoscar Hernandez), but for this tea to be around the .500 mark right now is a disappointment. 

Tyler Glasnow has been shaky as of late, Yamamoto has gotten better but is still not up to par with the guy they thought they were signing, and the offense has major holes. 

It is still incredibly early to panic or have any real concern, but the play right now is uninspired and underwhelming in multiple facets of the game. 

The Dodgers will send young right-hander Gavin Stone to the mound to face Jose Buttó for the Mets. First pitch is set for 1:05 PM PST on Saturday.