Mets @ Dodgers April 19, 2024: Facing Sean Manaea for the 9th time in 5 years

The title here is not an exaggeration. Friday night’s game against the Mets (10-8) will be Sean Manaea‘s ninth game against the Dodgers (12-9) since 2020 while bouncing from Oakland to San Diego to San Francisco and now New York. I believe I have also written the Recap or Game Thread for at least half of those games.

Manaea faced the Dodgers twice last year with the Giants, both at Dodger Stadium, after five appearances against Los Angeles with the Padres in 2022. The COVID-19 scheduling even led him to face the Dodgers in Los Angeles while with the A’s in 2020. Five of those games have been starts, including his best game against the Dodgers on Sept. 22 last season when he threw 7 scoreless innings in Los Angeles.

Even with that most recent appearance at Dodger Stadium, it’s been rough for him in Los Angeles and against the Dodgers in general.

Matchups@Dodger Stadium@Home (Petco Park)
Innings259 1/3
Runs Allowed238 (1 unearned)

Add in two other appearances earlier in his career and Manaea’s 7.50 ERA against the Dodgers is his second worst against any opponent, trailing a 16.88 in just 5 1/3 innings against the Orioles. That’s much worse than his career 4.10 ERA, so maybe it’ll be a better night for a Dodgers’ offense that has averaged 3.8 runs per game in the past 10 games after averaging 6.2 runs while reaching at least 4 runs in the season’s first 11 games.

Image Image
7:10 P.M. Los Angeles
LF Nimmo (L) 2B Betts
RF Marte DH Ohtani (L)
SS Lindor (S) 1B Freeman (L)
1B Alonso C Smith
DH Stewart (L) RF T. Hernandez
C Alvarez 2B E. Hernandez
2B McNeil (L) CF Pages
CF Bader 3B Rojas
3B Wendle (L) LF Taylor
P Manaea (L) P Yamamoto (R)

Given Manaea’s career splits as a left-handed pitcher, the Dodgers elected to only send out Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman as left-handed batters. That leaves Max Muncy on the bench along with James Outman and Gavin Lux. Freeman’s career line (4-for-9, 1 HR) hasn’t meant much for the platoon splits and Ohtani is just 1-for-4 in his career against Manaea. Mookie Betts is the real problem for the Mets as he’s 10-for-26 with 3 homers against Manaea, followed by Will Smith‘s 6-for-12.


Through his first four starts with the Dodgers, Yoshinobu Yamamoto‘s ERA sits at 4.50 with a 3.18 FIP, 2.88 xFIP and 2.77 SIERA.

Obviously that’s thrown off by the five runs allowed in 1 inning against the Padres back in Seoul, with Yamamoto’s next three starts each reaching exactly 5 innings. Those outings have also steadily progressed from 43 pitches to 68, then 80 and finally 91. The Padres put up another 3 runs against Yamamoto back on April 12 when he broke the 90-pitch mark, though he’s still held the other teams (Cardinals, Cubs) scoreless.

With the 1 inning in his debut an outlier, evidenced by the 25.6% cutter usage, Yamamoto has settled in with a pretty consistent 41 to 45% four-seam usage followed by 25 to 35% curves and 20 to 29% splitters. After throwing 11 curves to the Padres in the opener, leading to Baseball Savant lists just eight more in the past three outings. Opponents are 2-for-16 against Yamamoto’s curve and 3-for-16 against the splitter, with each finishing off 8 strikeouts apiece so far. Left-handed batters specifically have struggled against the curve, with 5 strikeouts and an 0-for-6 start to the season.

As for Manaea, 2024 still has him up at 54.3% four-seamers as he has been since 2022. The Mets have him throwing a cutter 12.6% of the time, essentially matching his sweeper (14.9%) and change-up (13.4%). The sweeper has steadily picked up over the past two seasons as he stopped using a sinker and has started to phase out his slider this year. The Padres started the changes in 2022 as Manaea moved to the four-seamer as his primary pitch from the sinker. The Giants kept the change last year, but Manaea’s change usage began to fall in favor of the sweeper. The Mets maintained that progression as the change and slider continued to fall as the sweeper increased, and now the cutter has been introduced.

The lefty has thrown just 13 of his 269 pitches to left-handed batters this year as teams have avoided the better of his splits. Left-handed batters slashed .200/.273/.297/.570 in 2023 while righties were .253/.327/.446/.773. That still looked pretty similar to Manaea’s career totals of .208/.266/.330/.596 to left-handed batters and .260/.316/.436/.752 to right-handed batters.


In the news for the day, Emmet Sheehan is going to get back to throwing soon.

Walker Buehler will be starting for OKC or Tulsa next week.

And because basically every pitcher is hurt, here’s an update on three other guys.


And in case you weren’t aware that Drew Pomeranz was with OKC, it doesn’t matter because he isn’t anymore.


First pitch from Dodger Stadium is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. on SportsNet LA and on MLB Network outside the two markets.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree.