Dodgers happy with series win vs. Yanks: 'Both teams brought our best'

L.A. drops finale after taking first two games in the Bronx

June 10th, 2024

NEW YORK -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had a close eye on his group this weekend. In a battle between two of the best teams in the Majors, Roberts wanted to see which of his players would rise to the occasion in a series that felt much bigger than a normal three-game set in June.

At the end of the weekend, Roberts and the Dodgers were pleased with the results, winning two of three against the first-place Yankees. However, the Dodgers walked away feeling like a sweep slipped away as some missed opportunities led to a 6-4 loss on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

“I think both teams brought our best and fortunately for us, we won the series,” Roberts said. “It was just a good environment all weekend. Good to show well against those guys. They’re a heck of a ballclub.”

After winning the first two games, the Dodgers felt confident in the potential of a sweep with ace on the mound. Glasnow racked up 12 strikeouts, but a pair of homers ultimately doomed the tall right-hander.

Oswaldo Cabrera got the scoring started for the Yankees with a solo homer off Glasnow in the third. After the Dodgers took the lead on a homer -- his third of the series -- in the sixth, the Yankees answered back in what turned out to be the biggest moment of the game.

With two on and one out, Glasnow fell behind Trent Grisham, 2-1. Grisham, who came into Sunday’s game with a .083 batting average, got a four-seamer over the heart of the plate and he didn’t miss it, sending a no-doubter deep into the seats in right field. Glasnow has now allowed 10 homers this season, and the five earned runs were his second most in a start this season.

“Yeah, it’s frustrating,” Glasnow said. “I just think a couple pitches tonight were left right in the middle of the zone. Just wish I could have located them a little differently.”

Though the results on Sunday weren’t what the Dodgers wanted, the game did serve as a learning opportunity for outfielder Andy Pages. The rookie couldn’t complete a play on an Aaron Judge double to deep right-center that ultimately turned into a Yankees run. Then in the seventh, Pages had a bad slide into third base on a Kiké Hernández bunt attempt. Two pitches later, Mookie Betts grounded into an inning-ending double play.

“The little things are what wins games like these. That’s something I have to get better at,” Pages said in Spanish. “Every day, you learn something. Things happen unfortunately, but just have to keep working. No excuses. Just have to be better the next time that happens.”

With the way the Dodgers have built their team over the last decade and especially over the past offseason, the only results that will carry weight are the ones in October. That’s what happens when you have a roster crafted with World Series-or-bust expectations.

But throughout the regular season, the Dodgers will have series that have added significance. The weekend meeting with the Yankees served as a litmus test for both clubs, with the Dodgers getting a taste of a postseason road atmosphere with three sold-out crowds at Yankee Stadium.

Through that test, the Dodgers learned more about their club. Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who pitched in countless big games in Japan, set the tone in the series with his best performance in the Majors on Friday, quieting anyone who might doubt the contract he received this winter. Gavin Stone followed with another solid performance on Saturday, giving the Dodgers even more confidence in the starting rotation they could carry in a postseason series.

Offensively, Teoscar Hernández showed why he was considered a big piece of the puzzle during the free-agent process, picking up extra-base hits in every game. In a few months, the Dodgers also know they’re going to need more production from their three superstars in Betts, Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman. All three were relatively quiet this weekend. L.A. can’t afford that come postseason time.

But in the end, it was a successful trip to New York for the Dodgers. And if it’s how things shake out, they’ll gladly sign up to do it again this fall.

“There’s obviously a lot of things that we have to fix. I mean, situational hitting. I think that’s one of the main things,” Betts said. “Because come postseason time, we’re going to have to execute those things. I came up in a couple situations that I need to come through.”