Cardinals 6, Dodgers 5: Yoshinobu Yamamoto bounces back nicely, but a rally to force extras still results in loss

After taking the first two games of the four-game set against the Cardinals, the Dodgers missed a ton of golden chances early, rain played a role in knocking out their rolling starter, and Joe Kelly had a disaster to result in a 6-5 loss even after they sent it into extras.

Things just didn’t go right for them, as a 34-minute delay, the first since April 7 of 2015, meant even the weather wasn’t cooperating.


After a Seoul Series debut that could only be described as a complete disaster, Yoshinobu Yamamoto emphatically bounced back in his home debut. He only barely got out of the first inning in South Korea, but today he struck out the side. Yamamoto continued to look dominant as the game went along, giving up just a single in the 2nd, and then retiring the side in order in both the 3rd and 4th, the latter on just seven pitches.

Unfortunately, that was when the rain delay hit, and he was sitting for over 40 minutes. However, he went back out there anyway, and gave up just a two-out double to get through five shutout frames.

More than just the results, I was encouraged by the amount of ugly swings against his stuff: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 68 Pitches.

On the other side, Lance Lynn was greeted with consecutive singles from Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, and Freddie Freeman to start the 1st, loading the bases with nobody out … which led to absolutely nothing as the next three hitters struck out. Amazing.

It was much the same in the 2nd, as there was a walk and a single that had the runners cornered with one out, but once again the runners never moved as Lynn wiggled out of trouble, this time against the top of the order. After laboring through two innings on 55 pitches, Lynn then got an eight-pitch 3rd frame and a seven-pitch 4th frame.

Unlike Yamamoto, he didn’t continue after the rain and the Dodgers capitalized immediately. With one down, back-to-back walks from Betts and Ohtani was followed with back-to-back singles from Freddie and Will Smith to make it 2-0.

Unfortunately, a fly out from Max Muncy resulted in a double play as Freeman got thrown out at home and killed the rally.

Taking over for Yamamoto, now with the lead, Daniel Hudson cruised through a 1-2-3 inning in the 6th and notched a strikeout in the process.

The aforementioned Kelly was next and he proceeded to basically implode, as he tends to do. He issued a walk to start the 7th, then hit a batter, and the bases were loaded on a catcher’s interference called on Will.

Dave Roberts continued to let Kelly go, and he gave up a sac fly to Ivan Herrera, then back-to-back singles to Alec Burleson and Brandon Crawford to tie things up all of a sudden. An odd play then followed, as Kelly was called for a balk on an apparent fly out, which scored another run and made it 3-2 to the Cards. Roberts still led Kelly go, and after an infield pop, Kelly was on the verge of escaping, but he gave up a double to Brendan Donovan to push the deficit to 5-2.

Mercifully that was the end of his night, and Alex Vesia entered to issue an intentional walk and get pop-out to end the threat.

Look, I realize Dave operates with the early priority to usually make sure everybody is healthy and rested over the long season. But I’m not sure what leaving him out there to get destroyed on 25 pitches serves when multiple guys had to be used anyway.


Anyway, after that disaster, it was up to the offense to put in their work. They didn’t get anything in 6th besides a single, but the 7th started with a Mookie double. After a couple of outs, it was Smith again who came up with a single to cut the deficit to 5-3 before the inning was over.

Taking over in the 8th was Kyle Hurt, who got a clean 13-pitch frame that included a strikeout, and he continued in the 9th as well. Hurt ensured the Cardinals didn’t get any more in regulation.

The Dodgers then went down quietly in the 8th, but Mookie continued to stay hot in the 9th, smashing his 4th homer of the season to make it 5-4 all of a sudden.

Well, with two outs in the 9th, the Dodgers had a one last rally left in them. They got the tying and winning runs on through Freeman and Smith singles, and Muncy then came through to even make contact, much less tie the game at 5-5 on a single. Unfortunately, that’s where things ended.

So onto extras, where Hurt continued and got the first two outs on grounders, but those also allowed the Manfred Runner to score and make it 6-5. A single followed and a Muncy error then cornered the runners, which led to Evan Phillips entering and notching a strikeout to escape without further mess.

It was up to the Dodgers to tie it up, but they had back-to-back strikeouts to start. A Gavin Lux infield single provided hope by cornering the runners, and Mookie then walked to load the bases. In a moment that seemed destined for a walk-off from him, Ohtani then couldn’t capitalize on the chance and popped out to short to end it.


3-2, bleh.

The conclusion of the series will be tomorrow, a couple hours earlier than today at 1:00 PM HT/4:00 PM PT/7:00 PM ET. It’ll be Gavin Stone making his first start of the season against Steven Matz.

About Chad Moriyama

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