Lynn allows 3 HRs vs. Marlins: 'An absolute disaster'

September 7th, 2023

MIAMI -- When the Dodgers acquired from the White Sox in late July, they understood the veteran right-hander had struggled this season -- specifically, that he had allowed the most homers in the league.

But in the Dodgers’ evaluation of Lynn, they also believed that the right-hander had experienced some bad luck to start the season and that there were ways to work around his home run problem in 2023.

On Wednesday, Lynn’s inability to limit homers continued to be an issue for the Dodgers, as he allowed three en route to eight earned runs over 4 2/3 innings in the blowout 11-4 loss to the Marlins at loanDepot park.

“Mistakes," Lynn said. "Got behind. Didn’t put anybody away with two strikes. Just an absolute disaster. I blew up. Can’t happen. Got to be better. I know that. I’ve pitched way too long to have an inning like that.”

Lynn’s night got off to a strong start, as he didn’t allow a hit until a Jazz Chisholm Jr. bunt single in the bottom of the fourth. But in the fifth, everything went wrong for Lynn and the Dodgers.

Jacob Stallings got the rally started with a ground-rule double down the left-field line. Joey Wendle then followed with a two-run homer to give the Marlins the lead. But Miami was nowhere close to being done in the frame. 

Jazz Chisholm Jr. broke the game open with a three-run homer off Lynn before Jesús Sánchez added a solo homer of his own later in the inning. With the three homers, Lynn leads the Majors in homers allowed with 40, including 12 since joining the Dodgers. 

“It's just kind of one of those years where they come in bunches. It's been the worst of my career, home run-wise,” Lynn said. “Bad pitch selection, bad execution. Everything that could go bad has gone bad when they've had the opportunity."

The Marlins' nine runs in the fifth inning marked the most given up by a Dodgers pitching staff since April 21, 2017, against the D-backs.

“Looking back at the replays, there were a lot of pitches over the big part of the plate,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “Unfortunately, they went out of the ballpark. Going into that fifth inning, the pitch count was where it needed to be -- efficient, throwing strikes, commanding the baseball. Then in the fifth inning -- there were some walks in there and something happened where he just lost control.”

Lynn’s career with the Dodgers got off to a solid start. He was giving the team exactly what it needed by going deeper into games, an improvement from what Los Angeles had in the starting rotation for most of July.

Over the past three starts, however, Lynn’s season-long struggles have been on display. He has allowed eight homers and 18 earned runs over 11 innings of work. He’s also not striking out as many batters as he did earlier in the season, recording just six K's over his past four starts.

“It’s probably a little bit of everything, to be honest with you,” Lynn said. “I haven’t been as sharp as I could. When I’m ahead in the count, [I'm] overcooking it and not putting it where I want to and then letting them back in the count, and that’s kind of on me. I’ve got to be better.”

With the current state of the Dodgers’ starting rotation, the club has no choice but to let Lynn try to work things out every fifth day. It saw Clayton Kershaw struggle for the second consecutive start on Tuesday and Julio Urías was placed on paid administrative leave by Major League Baseball on Wednesday.

Before the game, Roberts said Lynn’s role in the postseason will depend on how things shape up over the next month. But the team’s best scenario includes Lynn taking down valuable innings as a starter, which is a growing concern given his last few outings.

“It’s just more of -- just seeing that high-end stuff from pitch one,” Roberts said. “It’s about every pitch, every out is important [in the postseason]. Where we’re at, we’re gonna have to lean on him a little bit too.”