Padres outlast Dodgers in Seoul series finale, 15-11

Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters via USA TODAY Sports
Yamamoto roughed up in first career start, as Dodgers split the MLB World Tour in Seoul amidst offensive slugfest.

SEOUL – After an eventful day in game one of this two game set between the Dodgers and Padres, we finally had some offense in the second game. It was the debut of Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the Dodgers’ highly touted and highly paid young arm out of Japan. 

The hype only lasted for an inning however, as Yamamoto got roughed up in his first outing and could only last one inning before being removed. The Dodger offense got them back into the game however, as Mookie Betts and Will Smith each had four hits to keep the game close late. 

Eventually, the San Diego offense was too much, capped off by a three-run home run by Manny Machado in the ninth inning to put the game out of reach. 

The Dodgers are now 1-1 and head back to Southern California to close out Spring Training.

Here are my three takeaways:

There has been plenty of hype and talk about the young Japanese star and his lucrative contract, but his debut in Dodger blue did not go well. He could not get past the first inning, allowing five earned runs, one walk, one hit by pitch, and two strikeouts. 

For about three starts in a row now, after his first Spring outing, Yamamoto has been shaky with command and contact, which is getting a bit worrying. I understand that it is the first official start of his MLB career, but hitters are tagging him, and his ability to spot pitches has been erratic. 

I have full faith in the pitching staff and for Yamamoto himself to climb out of this funk as it usually takes Japanese pitchers some time to adjust to the Major League level, much like Kodai Senga of the Mets. 

After a slow start to game one for the Dodger offense, they broke out in a big way after that late rally en route to a win in the season opener. On Thursday, both offenses put on a slugfest. Mookie Betts showed why he was an MVP candidate last year, going 4-5 with a home run and six RBI, which is his most as a Dodger. 

Will Smith also put on a show at the plate, going 4-6 with two RBI and a run scored, picking up right where he left off in the playoffs. The Dodger offense connected on sixteen hits and eleven runs, but also left 25 on base. 

If the pitching staff can limit the opposing offenses to even 6-7 runs a game, I don’t think seeing double digit runs scored on a more consistent basis is out of the question. 

If you haven’t heard by now, Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara was investigated for a massive theft of $4.5 million from Ohtani’s bank account, in order to supplement a gambling addiction. 

The Dodgers have promptly fired Mizuhara and are sorting through the investigation by authorities. Conflicting reports have both denied and confirmed Ohtani’s knowledge and involvement of this situation, which has apparently been an issue with Mizuhara for some time now. We do know that Ohtani is not involved in the gambling portion of the incident, and has no ties to betting on baseball in any form.

Whether or not anything comes of it, I hope that this does not distract people and even the players in the clubhouse, of what a special season the Dodgers could have, and the talent that Shohei is. We will keep you updated with any details as they come in. 

The Dodgers now end the MLB World Tour and will head back home to take on the Angels in two exhibition games, starting Sunday.