D-backs 2, Dodgers 1: Dodgers waste the best start of Dustin May’s career

After cruising through an Opening Day win, the Dodgers played a tight one with the Diamondbacks tonight. Very suddenly it became a back-and-forth affair in the late innings, but unfortunately it was the D-backs that struck last in a 2-1 loss with Dustin May‘s great start being wasted.


Big things are expected and almost necessary from May this year as he returns for his first full season after Tommy John surgery, and he got his 2023 off with the best start of his career. He recorded an out in the 7th for the first time ever and ended up completing the inning, only facing three at-bats with runners in scoring position. Unsurprising considering he never gave up more than one baserunner in an inning, the definition of scattering, if one even needs to scatter four of them.

He was in complete control, and if it wasn’t so early in the season and he was more of a vet, he might’ve thrown a shutout.

7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 84 Pitches

May’s biggest problem was the Dodgers lineup. While opposing starter Merrill Kelly has a brutal history against the Dodgers, and while he was in trouble all game tonight, he didn’t end give up any damage. Kelly lasted just 3.2 innings before needing relief, working out of a walk and a single in the 1st, a single and a double in the 2nd, and a lead-off walk in the 3rd, but had to be relieved in the 4th while in a jam due to back-to-back walks.

Drey Jameson got him out of the mess with an out, then got a scoreless 5th and 6th while allowing just a walk in both frames. The D-backs pushed their luck and let him go out for the 7th as well, but with one out Mookie Betts changed the game with a solo shot on a hanging curve for a 1-0 lead that put May in line for the win.

In relief of May, Alex Vesia got a quick out to start the 8th, but then gave up a double to Evan Longoria and a slider that didn’t quite get inside to Kyle Lewis that resulted in him turning it around to left for a two-run go-ahead homer to make it 2-1.

Later, following a two-out single, he was removed for Evan Phillips, who took all of one pitch to get out of the inning.

I assume Dave Roberts wanted Vesia against the bottom of the lineup, but the three pinch-hitters from the D-backs provided handedness advantage. Maybe they didn’t want to use guys back-to-back or thought that Brusdar Graterol against lefties or Caleb Ferguson were worse matchups, but it was debatable. Ferguson did eventually enter in the 9th to post a scoreless frame, allowing just an infield single in which he didn’t cover first in time.

On the other side, Jameson had stayed in and actually pitched into the 8th before walking Miguel Vargas and being relieved by Scott McGough with two outs. He proceeded to uncork a wild pitch to advance Vargas and then walked James Outman, but Miguel Rojas got unlucky and lined a ball right to the shortstop to end the threat.

McGough also started the 9th, but issued a lead-off walk to Mookie, which guaranteed the Dodgers wouldn’t go down in order for the game. No matter, as in came Andrew Chafin to shut the threat down, and he did just that, getting two groundouts and a fly out to end it.



The third game of the four-game series is a bit earlier tomorrow at 3:10 PM HT/6:10 PM PT/9:10 PM ET, with a classic matchup in Clayton Kershaw against Madison Bumgarner.

About Chad Moriyama

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"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times