Yoshinobu Yamamoto's disappointing debut piles onto Dodgers' no good, very bad day

2024 Seoul Series - San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers
2024 Seoul Series - San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers / Chung Sung-Jun/GettyImages

If you thought that yesterday's game was frustrating, today's game probably has you mired in a whole different kind of hurt. Yesterday, the Dodgers just couldn't score with multiple opportunities to do so over seven innings and balls just seemed to die in the outfield of the Gocheok Sky Dome no matter how hard they appeared to be hit. Still, thanks to a four-spot in the eighth, the Dodgers powered ahead to win on Opening Day.

And then there was everything that came after. Shohei Ohtani's translator and friend Ippei Mizuhara was fired by the Dodgers after allegations of illegal sports betting in a story that's already confusing and is still very much ongoing. It overshadowed everything going into today's game, even Yoshinobu Yamamoto's highly anticipated Dodgers debut.

When it rains, it pours. Mizuhara's firing immediately cast a dark cloud over today's proceedings, and then the full force of San Diego's hitters came down on Yamamoto. He only threw one inning but gave up four hits, five earned runs, and a walk and threw a whopping 43 pitches before being replaced by Michael Grove.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto falls victim to resurgent Padres offense in Dodgers debut

Unlike Yamamoto's second Dodgers start in spring training, this final line can't be totally blamed on poor defense behind him. There was a bit of that (Max Muncy's glove totally missed a grounder to third), but Yamamoto just didn't have good stuff today. The first four batters he faced — Xander Bogaerts, Fernando Tatis Jr., Jake Cronenworth, and Manny Macado — singled, was hit by a pitch, tripled to score two, and walked. Ha-Seong Kim came up and hit a sac fly that scored one, Machado scored on a Luis Campusano double after moving to second on a wild pitch, then Tyler Wade singled to score Campusano and make it 5-0.

SportsNet LA commentators Joe Davis and Orel Hershiser said before the start that Yamamoto had a ceiling of 90 pitches on the day, but the Dodgers decided to staunch the bleeding by sending out Grove at the top of the second instead. Luckily, Dodgers' hitters seem to have a bit more pop in their bats today; Mookie Betts came up in the eighth to slam the first home run of the season to left field, making the score 10-8.

It was a disappointing start to Yamamoto's Dodgers debut on an already confusing day, but we can hope that it was just debut jitters and that he's exercised them from his system ahead of the Dodgers' stateside opener against the Cardinals.