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Reds shut down Dodgers on Ohtani bobblehead night

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Shohei Ohtani bobbleheads set records for attendance, but the team falters as Cincinnati Reds take series opener over Dodgers.

LOS ANGELES — As fans packed Dodger Stadium for a Shohei Ohtani bobblehead, the souvenir was a bigger hit than the Dodgers, who were held to four in hits in a 7-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night.

Right-hander ace Tyler Glasnow (6-2) was off all night and did not have command of the strike zone from the moment the game started. The Reds tagged him for two in the first on a Will Benson moonshot into the right field seats and a Tyler Stephenson double to left field. 

It seemed like that was all the Reds needed in order to get the confidence for the rest of the game to beat the Dodgers, as they ended up tacking on five more throughout the course of the game. 

The Dodgers (29-17) offense once again went cold at the plate for the second straight game. They only had four hits and Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, and Freddie Freeman were hitless.

Former San Diego Padres right-hander Nick Martinez shut down the Dodgers for five innings in relief to earn himself his first win of the year. 

Here are three takeaways:

Bottom of lineup struggles

The bottom of the Dodgers’ batting order has become a very big issue, going 2 for 17 Thursday. And it becomes even more glaring when the top of the order goes 1 for 12. 

The Dodgers’ 5-9 hitters had a wRC+ of 67, 52, 4, 57, and 82 while the league average is 100 (stats per Blake Harris). James Outman’s batting average has fallen to .147, Gavin Lux is hovering around a .200 and Chris Taylor is hitting .083. 

Andy Pages was in a slump (hitting .267) but he has provided great at-bats in the midst of that slump. 

With no improvement from the bottom order, expect some changes sooner rather than later. 

Glasnow roughed up

Glasnow left a ton of pitches over the heart of the plate and the Reds took advantage of it. He went five innings and allowed four earned with a home run allowed and eight strikeouts. 

A main criticism of Glasnow has been his inability to locate his wipeout arsenal, which has caused his numbers to be inflated in years past. Not to mention, the Reds lead the league in stolen bases and Elly De La Cruz swiped four of them. 

Record night for bobbleheads

There were lines outside of the stadium hours before the first pitch in anticipation of receiving an Ohtani bobblehead. It is the superstar’s first Dodgers bobblehead giveaway and the first 40,000 fans were given one, so you can imagine the chaos that ensued. 

Plus there were 1,700 bobbleheads with road gray Dodgers uniforms. Those were going for more than $1,000 on eBay by the end of the night.

The announced crowd of 53,527 was the largest for an MLB game this season. It was also the biggest regular-season game for the Dodgers since Sept. 20, 2019. 

Ohtani has been an MVP candidate in his first season in Dodger blue despite his despite his year starting with a gambling scandal involving his interpreter.

The Dodgers will send left-hander James Paxton (5-0, 2.58 ERA) to face right-hander Frankie Montas (2-3, 4.20) for the 7:10 p.m. Friday game.