LOS ANGELES – It was a pitching duel for the first six innings on Sunday Night Baseball, with Domingo Germán and Bobby Miller making quick work of each hitter they faced. It wasn’t until the top of the 7th inning when Kyle Higashioka finally opened the scoring with a ground out that scored Jake Bauers. J.D. Martinez would respond with a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game, but an RBI groundout for Oswaldo Cabrera and a ninth-inning home run from rookie Anthony Volpe would put away the Dodgers 4-1. The series will go down as a disappointing one for Los Angeles, who will look to rebound with a series against the Cincinnati Reds starting on Tuesday.
Here are three takeaways from the loss:
The Yankee pitching staff steps up
On an evening in which the Yankees needed their best stuff from Domingo Germán, he came through for them. He was able to work his way through 6.2 innings, allowing only 1 earned run. He struck out six Dodgers along the way and lowered his ERA on the season to 3.69. The only run he allowed came on a solo shot from J.D. Martinez which would end up being the only run Los Angeles scored all game. Clay Holmes would come into the game in the top of the 7th to replace Germán and pitch 1 scoreless inning. Wandy Peralta then came into the game and finished the job for the Yankees, going 1.1 scoreless innings himself on only 18 pitches.
The winning pitcher for New York ended up being Clay Holmes, as the Yankees were not able to take the lead until the top of the eighth inning. This was a very solid performance from a pitching staff that has dealt with inconsistency all season long, and they will look to use it as positive momentum going forward.
The top of the Dodger lineup goes quiet
The 1-4 spots in the Dodger lineup (occupied by Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, and Max Muncy) are critical to their success as an offensive unit. They rely on them to hit the ball into play and make things happen. Unfortunately, the story was different for them on Sunday evening. Betts, Freeman, Smith, and Muncy went a combined 0-15 with 4 strikeouts. The only one of them to reach base all game was Will Smith, who took first base on a walk in the bottom of the ninth inning. The score was already 4-1 by that point in the game, and the Dodgers would fail to put up any more runs.
Looking on the bright side, games like these tend to be quite uncommon for players such as Betts and Freeman. Both have been pivotal parts of their success and should be able to find themselves with a nice opportunity to get back on track against the Reds, who sit 7 games below .500 on the year. Nonetheless, Dodger fans still won’t feel great about their power hitters going dark in a big game against another big market team.
Bobby Miller shines once again
If Dodgers fans had any doubts about Bobby Miller’s ability to perform against teams with powerful lineups such as the one the Yankees have, those doubts were silenced. Miller proved that the bright lights had little effect on him and went 6 strong innings while allowing 0 runs. He also struck out 7 batters and only had to throw 86 pitches to do it. Some fans might find themselves wondering why he didn’t go further into the game, but he delivered either way. Miller has been extremely exciting to watch since his call-up to the major leagues, and now holds a miniscule 1.06 ERA through his first 3 starts. He only allowed 1 hit all day, and certainly gave his team a chance to win the ballgame.
After the game, Miller talked with reporters about making adjustments to his slider that allowed him to throw it harder than his previous starts.
While at one point in time Miller’s appearance on the big-league roster could have simply been viewed as a temporary fix to a derailed pitching staff, he’s most definitely made a strong case for staying in the rotation permanently. He continues to put up very impressive numbers thus far through his young career, and the Dodgers have not been given any reason to send him back down to AAA just yet. If he can keep up his dominance, he might just find himself pitching into the later months of summer and eventually the playoffs. The Dodgers will look to get back on track after an off day on Monday before they begin a three-game series against the Reds at Great American Ballpark in Cincinatti. The series comes as part of a 6-game road trip that will conclude with three more games in Philadelphia against the Phillies.
First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 4:10 PST.