Dodgers Struggle in Their Latest Matches
By: Jingwei Zhao
Bobby Miller’s rise to stardom as a pitcher for the Dodgers in Major League has come to an abrupt halt, with an overwhelming 15-0 loss against the San Francisco Giants, a new low in the past 125 years. His previous abilities to overpower batters with his incredibly quick balls and his techniques to fool them with breaking pitches vanished during the match, and he could no longer escape high-leverage jams.
Miller’s previous stats were high, with a 3-0 record and a 0.78 ERA in his first four career starts. But rather putting on a show as he did in those previous years, he gave up an entire four runs in the fifth inning, and was part of a five-run outburst in the sixth inning.
This has led to the worst defeat for the Dodgers in nearly a decade, and out of 29 games, they have won only 12 and have lost 17. However, the team’s performance is not just because of Miller, as nearly everyone has been lacking consistency. This was proven when the team lost 39-32 last Saturday with a very shaky performance.
Before the Saturday blowout, the rising Miller looked like a star in the making, with a 16-inning scoreless streak that he increased to 20 throughout the first four innings. “I felt like I was moving really quick. Felt like I was getting very efficient,” believed Miller.
However, this all changed in the top of the fifth inning, as he sent the ball wide off either side of the plates, leading to Luis Matos stealing second base and successfully advancing to third on a pickoff attempt to shortstop Miguel Rojas, who was in no position to throw it back to second.
Miller recalled, “I was just a little angry at myself for throwing it. There was a pickoff called. Waited a few seconds to make sure everything was good. Then turned around and I was already mid-throw. I couldn’t really stop myself from throwing it.” That was when the situation started to escalate.
Due to his frustration, Miller accidentally hit Casey Schmitt, following that up with potentially the worst mistake that Miller has made throughout his career, as he hung a first-pitch curveball headed to LaMonte Wade Jr.
Dave Roberts, their manager, chose to turn to the bullpen, leaving Alex Vesia for escaping the inning while Miller yielded two singles to push across a run. For this season, Vesia’s ERA was at an incredibly high 8.00, which was arguably the largest disappointment for the team. With the Giants leading 9-0 during the match, the Dodgers received many jeers from the fans in the stadium, and they were “well-deserved” according to the Los Angeles Times.
“It’s been hard, obviously, to build any kind of momentum. “It doesn’t feel good to lose, certainly over a stretch like this. We just have to focus on playing good baseball. If we do that, it will change,” says Roberts.