Nine-run fifth by Marlins sinks Dodgers to continue skid, 11-4

Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports
Dodgers lose second straight series to continue slow start to September

The Dodgers’ September skid continues with another blowout loss in Miami. Lance Lynn was roughed up for the second consecutive start and the offense continued to struggle as a whole in another series loss. 

Lance Lynn did not have the performance we were keen to seeing through his first 4 starts yet again Wednesday night as he gave up eight earned runs over 4 ⅔ innings. The long ball hurt the Dodgers again, as Lynn gave up three home runs and just did not have anything crisp on any of his pitches throughout his outing. The bullpen came in and followed the same trend, with Victor Gonzalez and Gus Varland giving up three runs over 3 ⅓ innings to put the game completely out of reach. 

This offense is in a bit of a lull right now and nothing seems to be going for almost everyone in the lineup not named Jason Heyward. Other than his three hits, David Peralta’s two hits, and James Outman’s home run, the Dodgers had zero production from anyone else. Sure, the Marlins are a playoff contending team, but this Dodgers lineup has not looked anywhere close to the August run that they had. 

The Dodgers are now 1-4 in September, 84-54 and still 13 games up in the National League West.

Here are my three takeaways:

There Is A Major Starting Pitching Issue

Clayton Kershaw did not look like himself in game one of this series and now Lance Lynn looked even worse in game two. That is now two games in a row where Lynn has given up multiple home runs and more than five earned runs. When this deal was made, I said everywhere that I didn’t think it would help this team down the stretch and in the playoffs. While most of the acquisitions, including Lynn and Joe Kelly, have been performing better than expected, we are starting to see all of them fall a little bit back to Earth. This rotation may have to rely on all of the young guys now, which can be a good thing, but certainly not ideal. 

Jason Heyward Is Carrying The Offense 

No, I didn’t turn on a time machine and send everyone back to the early and mid 2010’s, this is actually happening in 2023. Over Heyward’s last ten games, he is 13-27 with three home runs, slashing .481/.500/.851/1.351. I am so happy for him and the amount of work that he has put in to get to this point. Even before this torrid stretch of offense I thought he exceeded expectations, but putting together his gold glove caliber defense together with this kind of offense? He may force Dave Roberts’ hand when filling out the lineup. 

The Dodgers Start September Slow 

After a historic 24-4 record in August, the Dodgers have faltered a bit. They are 1-4 in this new month and have just not looked the same, both on the field and in the dugout. There is still smiles and high fives, but the fun and energy seems to have been taken out of the clubhouse for the time being. Losing will always do that of course, but it is not just the losses, it is who they are losing to.

In August, the Dodgers strength of schedule was very much in their favor, playing the likes of Oakland, Colorado, and Cleveland. As a contending team, you are supposed to beat those teams and make quick work of them in the process, but there is one thing that concerns me. After losing three out of four games to the Braves, the Dodgers have now lost another series to the Marlins, both teams who are in playoff contention. Once this Dodger team played higher competition and better ball clubs, they seem to have reverted back to the ways that got them in trouble in the 2022 NLDS. Bad starting pitching, injuries, and horrible execution with RISP are the main three that come to mind, and while the Dodgers are still 13 games up in the division, they should not take their foot off the gas pedal. 

The Dodgers will send Ryan Pepiot to the mound while the Marlins will send Braxton Garrett to the rubber. First pitch is set for 3:40 PM PST Thursday.