Tyler Glasnow dominates and Shohei Ohtani homers as Dodgers blow out Mets

Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

LOS ANGELES — There are no must-win games in April, but there are games in which you need to stop the bleeding.

The Dodgers found themselves in such a situation on Sunday, the supposed super team with the $308-million payroll having lost six of eight and in danger of getting swept in a three-game home series by the New York Mets for the first time since 1989.

Lucky for them, they had a human tourniquet in the form of Tyler Glasnow, the 6-foot-8, 225-pound right-hander who blanked the Mets on seven hits, struck out 10 and walked none over eight innings in what the Dodgers hoped was a momentum-shifting 10-0 victory before a crowd of 49,287 in Chavez Ravine.

Shohei Ohtani hit his 176th career homer, a 423-foot, two-run shot to right field in the third, to pass Hideki Matsui and become the all-time home run leader for Japanese-born big leaguers, and the Dodgers broke the game open with an eight-run, six-hit fifth-inning rally capped by Andy Pages’ three-run homer, the first of his career.

Glasnow rebounded from his worst start of the season, a five-inning, six-run, eight-hit effort in last Monday night’s 6-4 loss to Washington, with a dominant start in which he allowed only one runner to reach third base. Of his 101 pitches, 70 were strikes.

Glasnow became the first Dodgers starter to pitch into the eighth inning this season, and though he wobbled in the eighth, allowing two hits and a walk, he blew a 96-mph fastball by Tyrone Taylor for strike three with his final pitch of the game, punctuating the whiff with a violent fist pump as he walked off the mound.

“I think what an ace does is ... set the tone for the day,” manager Dave Roberts said before the game. “Clearly, we’re in a little funk, trying to salvage a series, and so I think it starts with the starting pitcher, (who you want) to go out there and put up a zero in that first inning and be Tyler.”

Glasnow did just that in the first inning, striking out two of the first three batters he faced, and he followed that with scoreless second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings to improve to 4-1 with a 2.92 ERA.

Ohtani staked Glasnow to a 2-0 lead with his fifth homer of the season and first since April 12, a span of 29 at-bats, and the Dodgers made sure Glasnow would notch a win with their fifth-inning outburst, which Pages, the No. 8 hitter, sparked with a leadoff double to left off Mets starter Adrian Houser.

Gavin Lux walked and Mookie Betts lined an RBI single to center for a 3-0 lead. Ohtani’s infield single loaded the bases for Freddie Freeman, who poked a two-run double just beyond the reach of diving right fielder Starling Marte for a 5-0 lead.

Will Smith followed with a two-run double to left for a 7-0 lead. Mets reliever Grant Hartwig walked Max Muncy before recording two outs, but Pages crushed a 413-foot homer to center to make it 10-0.


The Dodgers went five for seven with runners in scoring position in the fifth inning and five for 11 in the game, and they struck out only five times , their ability to hit in the clutch and to make more consistent contact reversing two troubling trends.

The Dodgers entered Sunday ranked among baseball’s top five teams in batting average, on-base-plus-slugging percentage, home runs and walks, but they were also tied with the Boston Red Sox for the league lead with 221 strikeouts.

They also had a .244 average (55 for 255) with runners in scoring position and a .130 average (three for 23) with the bases loaded, their 69 strikeouts with runners in scoring position and 12 whiffs with the bases loaded — six of them coming in Saturday’s 6-4 loss to the Mets — leading the league.

The whiffs put a considerable drag on an offense that was expected to be among the most lethal in baseball.

“With certain guys, it’s been ... yeah, ‘drag’ is a good word,” Roberts said before the game. “Right now, it’s a little problematic. I think that strikeouts are gonna happen, but … then you start to layer in the strikeout with runners in scoring position, where you just gotta move the ball forward. And so for me, that’s something that has to get better.”

One common thread in the team’s failure to hit with runners in scoring position, Roberts said, was that batters were often falling behind in counts.

“You’re behind 0-1, and essentially, there’s a panic at some point, right?” Roberts said. “And then we’re not making contact. This is not everyone. But I think the best hitters are typically the best hitters with runners in scoring position. There’s a parallel. If you’re not a good hitter, then you’re typically not very good with runners in scoring position.”

Short hops

Left-hander James Paxton and right-handers Landon Knack and Yoshinobu Yamamoto are scheduled to start a three-game series beginning Tuesday in Washington, which will give Paxton, who pitched better with extra rest for Boston last season, eight days between starts and Yamamoto, who pitched once a week in Japan, five days between starts. … Walker Buehler, who is recovering from a second Tommy John surgery, will make his fifth minor league rehabilitation start — this one for triple-A Oklahoma City — on Wednesday in Albuquerque.


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