The Marlins hit four home runs to the Dodgers’ one, including two off Ryan Yarbrough in the eighth inning to break a tie in a 6-3 win over Los Angeles in the opener of a three-game series on Tuesday night in Miami.
Jesús Luzardo held the Dodgers bats in check, allowing but a couple of runs in a very solid quality start, lasting longer than Clayton Kershaw, who allowed three runs (and two home runs) in five innings.
However, the Dodgers’ loss takes a backseat to some concerning signs regarding Kershaw, as his velocity was down for a second straight outing.
Among qualified pitchers in the big leagues, no single starter has a WHIP above 1.500 this season. On Tuesday against the Marlins, Kershaw’s WHIP was at 2.000, basically double his career line, with five walks and five hits in his five innings.
Watching the left-hander pitch, it is clear that Kershaw is still dealing with something in his shoulder, whether it is extra soreness or maybe something more serious, we simply don’t know.
Two things stand out from the previous two outings. Kershaw’s velocity is significantly down, as he averaged 88.4 mph on his heater. That velocity was nearly three ticks lower than his season average of 91.1 mph.
The slider was also very hit-or-miss, failing to locate it consistently saw a decrease in usage, going from 44 percent on the season to only 32 percent in this outing, meaning more changeups, and even a few more sinkers in there.
Kershaw left the game on the hook for the loss, as the Dodgers trailed 3-2 following Josh Bell’s two-run shot. However, in the first at-bat against the Marlins bullpen, Chris Taylor went yard on an 0-2 mistake from A.J. Puk to tie things up.
The Dodgers got back into the game after the Taylor homer and looked poised to challenge the Marlins late, as Ryan Yarbrough tossed a couple of scoreless innings following Kershaw. But, Miami would pounce in Yarbrough’s third frame of work.
Coming back out there for the eighth inning, the southpaw barely hit Jake Burger on a pitch that could’ve just as easily found the knob of the bat. Then he allowed two monstrous homers to to Bryan De La Cruz and Jazz Chisholm Jr. to provide the winning margin for Miami.
Will Smith was getting an off day on the field as the designated hitter. However, Austin Barnes was hit by a backswing in the seventh inning and left the game early. Smith caught the final inning and the Dodgers wrapped up the game with no DH. David Peralta, pinch-hitting for the pitcher’s spot in the order in the ninth, struck out looking to end the game.
Home runs: Chris Taylor (14); Jake Burger (31), Josh Bell (20), Bryan De La Cruz (18), Jazz Chisholm Jr. (15)
WP — Andrew Nardi (7-1): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
LP — Ryan Yarbrough (7-6): 3 IP, 3 hits, 3 runs, 3 strikeouts
Sv — Tanner Scott (5): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts
The veteran Lance Lynn will look to bounce back from the wrecking ball that is the Atlanta Braves offense, by taking the mound on Wednesday (3:40 p.m. PT, SportsNet LA). The Marlins have yet to officially announce a starter, but Edward Cabrera is the likeliest candidate to take the hill.