Just like that, the Los Angeles Dodgers' scorching hot August is gone as quickly as it arrived. And it now feels like this team is in shambles after just five discouraging games that have brought them back down to earth.
Other factors have contributed to the bad vibes, too. Julio Urías' arrest and likely banishment for the remainder of the year. Lingering concerns over Clayton Kershaw's shoulder injury relayed from manager Dave Roberts. Max Muncy's shoulder issue. Shohei Ohtani's muddled free agency as a result of his UCL injury.
The hits have quickly snowballed in the matter of days, and Lance Lynn unfortunately added to the pile with another stinker on Wednesday night against the Miami Marlins.
At first, the outing looked promising. Lynn was through three scoreless with an efficient 32 pitches under his belt. He labored a bit in the fourth, but Jason Heyward bailed him out with an incredible web gem to save a bases-clearing double to end the inning.
But then came the fifth. Lynn was only able to record two outs in a frame he surrendered eight earned runs on six hits and two walks. His evening ended with 90 pitches, only 53 of which were strikes. He surrendered three home runs to bring his season total to 40 allowed.
Consecutive Lance Lynn meltdowns should have Dodgers questioning 2024 option
Once upon a time, that $18 million team option for 2024 looked like a solid alternative for the Dodgers to maintain continuity and a veteran presence in the rotation, which would've helped considerably because of all the factors against LA at the moment.
Before Urías' arrest, he was slated to be a free agent and many were expecting him to depart. Kershaw is a free agent again and nobody knows what his plans are. Dustin May can't be relied upon to remain a consistent starter after his second elbow surgery. Tony Gonsolin will miss all of 2024 after undergoing Tommy John. The jury's still out on a number of the team's other top pitching prospects.
And now there's Lynn, who, over his last three starts, has allowed a total of 18 earned runs on 24 hits (eight home runs) and six walks. He's struck out just six batters over his last 22 innings of work.
The Dodgers already had an uncertain offseason ahead, but they had a plan of attack. Over the last couple weeks, every layer of it has been turned upside down in a major way, with Lynn representing the latest blow that could bring them back to the drawing board.
We'd otherwise say this is a bit of a knee-jerky reaction on Lynn, but he was performing this poorly not too long ago in a much weaker division, so it's safe to say his encouraging showing at the onset of his Dodgers career only masked what's been under the surface all along.