The Dodgers capped off their four game set against the Diamondbacks to start the season, falling short in the late innings on Sunday, 2-1. Noah Syndergaard stole the show in his Dodgers debut, but the bats couldn’t muster any offensive production after the first inning.
After posting an uninspiring 5.79 ERA in spring, Syndergaard was tasked with carrying the same positive momentum Julio Urías, Dustin May, and Clayton Kershaw forged. Syndergaard impressed in the first inning, getting Josh Rojas and Ketel Marte to strike out on three pitches. Syndergaard delivered nothing short of an excellent performance on the bump, as he pitched over six-plus innings, allowing just one run on the day, with six strikeouts.
The Dodgers were able to pounce first on Zach Davies, as a solo shot by Will Smith gave the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. After that, the bats fell silent, as they left men on five men on base in particular in the first three innings. Despite the efforts from Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, both of whom reached base twice in the game, their contributions were for naught, as the Smith home run was the only scoring production the Dodgers could amount on the afternoon.
Bullpen falters again
Syndergaard was relieved after facing one batter in the top of the seventh inning, and he was nothing short of excellent in his debut in blue. Caleb Ferguson and Evan Phillips combined for two innings of shutout work to get to the ninth.
Brusdar Graterol had command issues, throwing eight balls compared to just three strikes through his first 11 pitches. After a miraculous assist from Mookie Betts in right field to keep the score tied, it was a drag bunt single from Jake McCarthy that ultimately gave Arizona a lead that they didn’t relinquish.
Home run: Will Smith (1)
WP — Andrew Chafin (1-0): ⅔ IP, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
LP — Brusdar Graterol (0-1): 1 IP, 4 hits, 1 run
Sv — Scott McGough (1): ⅔ IP, 1 strikeout
The Dodgers host the Colorado Rockies on Monday (7:10 p.m., SportsNet LA), with young right-hander Michael Grove set to make his 2023 season debut, facing off against Ryan Feltner.