Syndergaard’s struggles continue as Dodgers fall to Nationals, 10-6

Things went from bad to worse for Noah Syndergaard as the right-hander delivered another mediocre start, allowing five earned runs through five innings.

LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers took the field on Wednesday afternoon looking for their first series sweep since sweeping the Padres earlier this month. Despite jumping ahead early and being tied late, the boys in blue were unable to keep the ball in the yard, falling 10-6 to the Washington Nationals in the series finale.

Here are two takeaways from the loss:

Syndergaard continues to unravel

Things are going from bad to worse for Noah Syndergaard. The right-hander delivered another mediocre start, allowing five earned runs through five innings. His season ERA currently sits at 6.54. The Dodgers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead that would be short-lived.

Anyone who watched Syndergaard’s postgame interview knows that nobody is more disappointed in his start to the season than himself. Syndergaard said, “I would give up my hypothetical first-born to be the old me”, and referred to himself as the team’s weakest link.

I’ll be incredibly blunt. Once Julio Urias is activated from the injured list, there is no reason for Noah Syndergaard to make another start as a Dodger. Urias, Kershaw, Gonsolin, Miller and some combination of Grove/Stone/Pepiot should be the rotation moving forward. It’s beyond thin, but Syndergaard is giving up far too many runs to warrant another start.

I could very well see the Dodgers giving him an opportunity to fix things coming out of the bullpen, but that’s a hard-sell to a guy who has been an established starter in the league for quite some time. I expect the Dodgers to cut their losses as soon as possible, designating Syndergaard for assignment, eventually releasing him.

8th inning collapse

Coming into today’s game, the Washington Nationals were yet to hit more than two home-runs in a game this season. Today they hit five. I don’t need to tell you this, but that’s not a winning recipe.

As bad as Syndergaard was, the Dodgers and Nats were tied at 5-5 heading into the 8th inning. Dave Roberts entrusted Brusdar Graterol to put up a zero and get the Dodgers back in the dugout. He failed miserably. Graterol hit Keibert Ruiz with a pitch to lead-off the inning, immediately followed that up with a throwing error and suddenly the Nationals had runners on second and third base with nobody out.

Luis Garcia broke the game open, hammering a hanging two-out slider over the wall in right field. That would be all the Nats would need. Ruiz added two insurance runs in the 9th inning on his second home-run of the game.

Tomorrow is an off-day as the Dodgers prepare to welcome the New York Yankees to town for a three game series that starts on Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PST.