Dodgers’ Record Signing Yamamoto Disappoints in One-Inning Debut

Dodgers debut Yoshinobu Yamamoto

The Dodgers’ high hopes for Yoshinobu Yamamoto took a hit as the Japanese right-hander endured a rough Major League debut, lasting just one inning against the Padres. Signed to a historic 12-year, $325 million deal this offseason, Yamamoto’s first outing fell short of expectations.

Despite the anticipation surrounding his debut, Yamamoto struggled, conceding five runs on four hits and a walk, with one hit-by-pitch, in just 43 pitches. His performance marked a rare disappointment for the Dodgers, with Yamamoto becoming the first starter since at least 1901 to allow five runs in his MLB debut in an outing lasting one inning or fewer.

From the outset, Yamamoto faced adversity, surrendering a single to Xander Bogaerts on his first pitch, setting the tone for a challenging inning. The Padres capitalized on Yamamoto’s struggles, with Jake Cronenworth’s two-run triple and subsequent hits extending their lead to 5-0.

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Yamamoto’s command, lauded by scouts and executives prior to his debut, was noticeably absent, echoing concerns raised during spring training where he posted an 8.38 ERA in three starts. Despite the Dodgers attributing his spring struggles to adjustments with the Major League ball, Yamamoto’s command faltered once again, with only 23 of his 43 pitches finding the strike zone.

While the Dodgers remained adamant about not overreacting to Yamamoto’s debut, the performance undoubtedly fell short of expectations for the prized acquisition. As the season progresses, the Dodgers will look to Yamamoto to justify his record-breaking contract with improved performances on the mound.

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