The Los Angeles Dodgers received a boon with Clayton Kershaw returning to the starting rotation, but it wasn’t enough to defeat the New York Mets in the series finale at Citi Field.
The loss not only was the Dodgers’ second in three games, but it also cost them the season series. That could come into play for home-field advantage if the Mets chase them down for the best record in the National League.
Kershaw exited with a 2-1 lead, but the Dodgers bullpen allowed two runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Their defense didn’t aid matters, with Gavin Lux in particular at the center of two costly plays.
Following the Dodgers’ loss, manager Dave Roberts expressed a belief dropping the series was self-inflicted, via Juan Toribio of MLB.com:
“We beat ourselves,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “I think there’s nothing, for me, more frustrating than not playing fundamental defense. And when you give teams extra outs, there’s a collateral effect. … I think that you could look at four runs they scored in the sixth and the seventh was a byproduct of, we didn’t secure the baseball. This whole trip, I don’t think we played great defensively.”
The Dodgers had defensive lapses throughout their road trip, but still managed to win three of four games against the Miami Marlins.
Thursday’s game also saw a baserunning blunder as Trayce Thompson was easily thrown out at home plate on Chris Taylor’s two-run single in the second inning. Thompson appeared to believe a late send by Dodgers third base coach Dino Ebel was for himself, rather than Lux.
Roberts has been critical of the Dodgers’ defense at various points over recent seasons, including during the second half of the 2021 campaign. He generally has been pleased by their play in the field this year.
Even with the sloppy defense, L.A. nearly tied the game in the eighth inning but drives by Max Muncy and Justin Turner were caught at the warning track.
Dodgers homestand begins
After a 4-3 road trip, the Dodgers now begin a homestand with series against the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants.
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