An ejected Max Scherzer immediately led to the first run of the game in the 4th inning, but the Dodgers did little else in the six innings against the Mets bullpen as they fell 5-3 Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles. The Dodgers wasted a solid outing by Noah Syndergaard in the loss and now head out for a seven-game road trip in Chicago (10-6) and Pittsburgh (12-7).
The Dodgers’ offense seemed as though it might strike early against Scherzer when James Outman opened the game with a single to right, followed by one-out walks for J.D. Martinez and Max Muncy. However, Scherzer worked out of the trouble as he struck out Jason Heyward (thanks in part to a 2-0 fastball being called a strike that was borderline given his two walks) and got a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
That began a stretch of eight consecutive outs that ended his day as he was ejected ahead of the 4th inning.
After the previous checks happened at the end of the 2nd and the beginning of the 3rd when he was forced to change his glove, it escalated when he came back out for the 4th.
That brought in Jimmy Yacabonis, who got a ground out before Heyward doubled to left and Miguel Vargas put runners at the corners with a single to right. This time the Dodgers brought in the runner from third with one out as David Peralta‘s fly ball to right was deep enough to put Los Angeles up 1-0.
Through the first 18 batters he faced, Syndergaard allowed just one ball to be hit harder than 93 mph and it went for a lineout in the 1st inning. That run included just 32 pitches through his first three innings, with a 1st inning single erased by a double play and another double play on a changeup to end the 3rd inning.
It was clear he started to struggle a little bit in the 4th, with a 19-pitch inning including 10 balls as he started to miss all around the strike zone. However, Syndergaard still faced just four batters in the inning and then opened the 5th with a swinging strikeout against his change, but the Mets finally connected with one on and one out.
A 1-0 change to Nimmo went 431 feet to right, turning a 1-0 lead for the Dodgers into a 2-1 deficit.
Syndergaard bounced back with his first 1-2-3 innings of the day in the 6th, though it did come with a little help from Heyward to end the inning on a lineout to right. That ball became the third over 93 mph, but otherwise it was primarily this:
Syndergaard finished the day with 6 innings, allowing five hits two walks and two strikeouts on just 74 pitches. The strikeout total is a little low, even with the soft contact as that included just 5 misses on 35 swings, with two apiece on the change and sinker. The former accounted for both strikeouts with one of the two right here.
Yency Almonte survived a bases loaded situation in the 7th after Alex Vesia allowed a walk and two singles, getting a grounder to third to end the inning. Unfortunately, he created an even worse situation in the 8th as he allowed a double and single to open the inning before Justin Bruihl was thrown in to deal with the jam. A pop out to Muncy at third kept hope alive of a scoreless inning, but a fly out to right brought home Francisco Lindor from third before Bruihl ended the inning with a ground out.
Now facing a 3-1 deficit entering the bottom of the 8th, the Dodgers’ offense came back alive against David Robertson. After Vargas’ 4th inning single, just one batter would reach over the next 13 batters before Freddie Freeman walked with one down in the 8th and Martinez brought him home with a double to left to make it 3-2.
An intentional walk to Muncy and a first-pitch pop out for Heyward brought Vargas back to the plate with the tying run on second. Getting ahead 2-0, Vargas swung and missed at a cutter and then took another before Robertson ran the count full with a fourth straight cutter. Unfortunately, a fifth cutter was weakly popped up in foul territory to first to end the inning.
Ultimately it wouldn’t matter, as Shelby Miller pitched the 9th and allowed his first run(s) as a Dodger. A one-out walk to the No. 9 hitter and Brandon Nimmo‘s fifth hit of the day (matching the entire Dodgers team) led to a double by Mark Canha that made it 5-2 before Miller ended the inning.
Naturally, Peralta opened the bottom of the inning with a homer to right to make it 5-3, with Yonny Hernandez making his Dodgers debut with a groundout to second, followed by Trayce Thompson flying out to center. Outman ended the day taking strike three to wrap up the loss.