The Dodgers once again blew a lead, losing in walk-off fashion to the Reds on back-to-back nights, this time an 8-6 loss on Wednesday night at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
The one man who left Tuesday’s poor pitching performance unscathed, Evan Phillips, was the loser on Wednesday, surrendering a walk-off two-run bomb to Will Benson in the bottom of the ninth. The Dodgers have lost fourth straight games for the first time in 2023.
The early script of the second game of this series followed the same path as the first one, with the Dodgers getting out to an early lead in the first inning, only to see Cincinnati answer the serve in the bottom of the frame, with each team scoring two in the opening inning.
After the Dodgers lineup once again opened up a significant lead, scoring four unanswered runs before the end of the third, giving Noah Syndergaard what would otherwise be looked at as a comfortable four-run cushion. But there’s no such thing as a comfortable lead, not with Syndergaard in his current form, and especially not at Great American Ballpark.
Syndergaard allowed six runs in three innings, and left a tied game.
The highlight of the Reds scoring came in the first, as Elly De La Cruz continued his outstanding beginning in the big leagues, hitting a two-run bomb to the top of the right-field stands.
That ball left the bat at nearly 115 mph, and it was only the beginning of De La Cruz’ night, as in the third, he proceeded to hit a triple, with the fastest time from home to third in the big leagues in 2023 at 10.83 seconds, beating out Corbin Carroll’s 10.97 mark.
That triple began the scoring on a four-run third for Cincinnati, off Syndergaard, capped off by a Tyler Stephenson home run.
Under a normal scenario, the Dodgers would be winning this series comfortably, if their pitching was in line with what they’ve grown accustomed to, in recent seasons, as the lineup has put up multiple-runs firsts in each game.
However, with Syndergaard struggling heavily, and the bullpen caving in on Tuesday, the hot Dodgers' offense is simply helping the team stand a fighting chance.
Mookie Betts led off the game with a home run, his sixth leadoff bomb of the year. Max Muncy drove in Will Smith with a RBI single to up the lead to 2-0, before the Reds tied it in the bottom of the frame.
Miguel Vargas started off the second much like the first, leading it off with a homer of his own, to give the Dodgers back the lead at 3-2. Vargas later upped the lead to 6-2 with an RBI double, after a two-run home run by Smith.
All of this was for naught, as Syndergaard coughed up the same number of runs.
Home runs: Mookie Betts (16), Miguel Vargas (6), Will Smith (9); Elly De La Cruz (1), Tyler Stephenson (4), Will Benson (1)
WP — Alexis Díaz (2-1): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts
LP — Evan Phillips (1-2): 0 IP, 2 hits, 2 runs
The Dodgers will wrap up the first half of this road trip with an early morning start Thursday (9:35 a.m. PT; SportsNet LA, MLB Network). Clayton Kershaw will take the ball against rookie right-hander Graham Ashcraft.