Dodgers fall flat again in loss to Diamondbacks

Dustin May had no problem getting the first two strikes against Arizona Diamonds hitters Wednesday night.

Putting them away, however, has become a nightmarish adventure for the Dodgers right-hander still trying to find his way back in a comeback from Tommy John surgery.

In a Lost 6-1 at Dodger StadiumMay followed up his best start to the season with one of his worst, giving up five runs in four shaky innings in which he also walked two batters, hit one and got seven men to base on a count of two strikes.

“I prepared for failure, walking guys and giving up contact,” May said. “It was just overall bad.”

Heading into Wednesday, it looked like May was closing in on a starting spot in the Dodgers’ playoff rotation, thanks to an uptick in performance, including five hitless innings against the Dodgers. San Francisco Giants last weekand because starting games might be easier on his surgically repaired elbow.

“Being a young pitcher, [coming off] First-year Tommy John, to give him so many opportunities to succeed in terms of preparation, routine, that’s obviously what makes the most sense,” manager Dave Roberts said before the game. Is cemented? I’d probably stop before that. But it’s the most plausible.

To be counted in the playoffs, however, the 25-year-old will have to avoid outings like Wednesday’s.

In the first inning, May had leadoff batter Daulton Varsho in a 2-and-2 count before walking him on a low curveball and high sinker.

With two outs and Varsho at second after a stolen base, May had Christian Walker in a 1-2 hole, only to throw a fastball wide and low curve that left the count full. He then threw an elevated sinker which Walker threw left for a broken-bat RBI single.

A similar streak unfolded in the third inning. Jake McCarthy was in a 1-and-2 count with two outs, but then fired a few curveballs and a cutter to draw a walk. Moments later, he stole the second, then scored on an RBI single from Walker.

In round four, the May night snowballed out of control.

After Carson Kelly doubled, Geraldo Perdomo singled on a fastball 0&2 and Varsho was hit with a curveball 0&2 to charge the bases.

May attempted to pitch the next batter, Corbin Carroll, with an elevated cutter, but missed his spot down and over home plate. Carroll smoked it, sending a brace into the gap that scored three runs to make it 5-0 before the Dodgers even registered a hit (they finished with just three, getting a single run on the 35th home run from Mookie Betts).

“It’s just one of those games,” Roberts said. “Clean game. We just got beaten.

Arizona Diamondbacks Jake McCarthy beats Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes' tag to score a run.

Arizona Diamondbacks Jake McCarthy beat Dodgers wide receiver Austin Barnes to score a run in the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday.

(Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

Unlike some of May’s other blunders since returning to the active roster, his issues on Wednesday were less about command and more about conviction, with Roberts citing possible issues with field selection and the plan of attack.

“With Dustin, it’s not all about the stuff,” Roberts said, noting that even on a night when May’s near triple-digit speed was good, his tendency to “try to bully guys” with his fastball “becomes too predictable”.

“Just to continue to figure out how to use his mix in the right way, I think that will prove beneficial,” Roberts added. “Of course, time is running out. There are only a few more starts to clean it all up. But it’s up to all of us to do it.

Indeed, time is running out for May to go well.

He has dominated at times this season but remains inconsistent now six starts after his return.

He insisted he feels good physically and is “to the point now where I feel comfortable with everything,” he said. “I just need to go out and perform.”

For the Dodgers to rely on him in the playoffs, do they need more consistency over the past two weeks?

“Absolutely,” Roberts said.

Presentation updates

Each day, Roberts answers a series of familiar questions during his pregame scrimmage, pressing the status of about half a dozen injured pitchers on the team.

And each day, as the playoffs draw closer and closer, its updates are subject to change, delivering unexpected good news for some and increasingly troubling development for others.

Wednesday was no different.

After saying for several days that right-hander Blake Treinen would be activated on Thursday, Roberts had to backtrack, revealing the reliever’s recalcitrant shoulder “just isn’t bouncing back the way we would have hoped” and his status for October remains. uncertain. .

“I played catch today and we’ll see how he does,” Roberts said. “We’re just going to kick the box a little.”

There was good news mixed in Roberts’ afternoon conversation with reporters. He said right-hander Brusdar Graterol would be activated on Thursday instead, giving the reliever an earlier-than-expected return from an elbow problem that had sidelined him since early September.

The Dodgers are hoping Tony Gonsolin (forearm) and Dave Price (wrist) are also closing in on the return. They will both face hitters on Thursday in what will be an especially key step for Gonsolin, who is running out of time to try and get back to full starter capacity.

“I already talked to Tony about, No. 1, bringing him back to casting,” Roberts said. “And once we get to that point, we’ll decide which role makes the most sense. So he’s open to anything.”

Roberts said if Thursday goes well for Gonsolin, he could start a rehab assignment as early as next week.

Still, Treinen’s latest setback was the most concerning news to emerge, with Roberts saying the right-hander – who was originally expected to be one of the Dodgers’ most important relievers before suffering a shoulder injury at mid-April which limited him to just five appearances all season – still isn’t a guarantee of being ready for October.

“I would say there’s always an ‘if,'” Roberts said.