Dodgers News: Dustin May Blames Low Strikeout Rate On Pitch Execution

Dustin May was looking to bounce back from having shaky command, and while he improved in that area, the right-hander still had some struggles in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 8-6 loss to the New York Mets on Monday night.

May allowed five runs on eight hits over 5.2 innings and finished with a season-worst one strikeout. It was the fewest May had in a start since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2021.

“Execution was OK,” May said after the game. “Quality of execution was not that great. I was throwing balls in the strike zone and they were getting little shots over the infield and stuff like that, getting on base. I need to make better quality pitches in those scenarios, and I didn’t.”

May has just 13 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched across four starts this season. His 4.88 strikeouts per nine innings are the fewest among qualified starters.

In the top of the fourth inning, Mets rookie Brett Baty came to the plate with two outs and a runner on third base. May had an 0-2 count and attempted to get Baty out with elevated fastballs and off-speed pitches low in the zone.

Baty worked the at-bat and hit a single to right field on a pitch inside.

“In that situation I was hoping for a swing and miss,” May said. “They weren’t very quality throws. They were way down.”

When asked whether improving swing and miss numbers is a matter of pitch selection or another factor, May answered, “Just location of where they were going.”

Overall this season, May has a 14.1% strikeout rate that is on pace to be the lowest of his career by far.

Dustin May didn’t sense different approach from Mets

That May would only manage one strikeout isn’t much of a surprise when considering his recent drop off in that category and the Mets lineup being one that makes regular contact.

However, May put the onus on himself rather than believing the Mets represented a different challenge.

“Not really any more aggressive than previous teams,” May noted. “I was getting them late in counts, I just wasn’t finishing them off. I need to work on that.”

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