Dodgers’ Yoshinobu Yamamoto Allows 5 Runs in MLB Debut, Pulled After 1st Inning

Yoshinobu Yamamoto with the Dodgers in December 2023
Yoshinobu Yamamoto with the Dodgers in December 2023. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI/Shutterstock (14276220v)

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ highly touted pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto had a rough outing in his MLB debut. Getting the start against the San Diego Padres on Thursday, Yamamoto allowed five runs and was pulled after the first inning.

Yamamoto delivered 43 pitches, allowing four hits and one walk. He finished the frame with a 45.00 ERA and two strikeouts before making way for Michael Grove. The Dodgers wound up suffering an 11-15 loss.

Yamamoto joined the Dodgers in December on a 12-year, $325 million contract, which is the richest deal given to a pitcher in MLB history. He previously spent his entire professional career in Nippon Professional Baseball, where he won three Eiji Sawamura Awards, which is NPB’s equivalent to the Cy Young Award.

The Dodgers and a lot of other MLB teams who pursued Yamamoto believed that his transition to MLB would be seamless. However, this looked like a questionable assessment even before the disastrous debut against the Padres.

Yamamoto made three starts in the Cactus League this spring, pitching a total of 9⅔ innings. He made 13 strikeouts but also gave up 15 hits and four walks while having a combined 8.38 ERA.

Yamamoto’s early struggles are unlikely to cause much concern for the LA team, but it is unlikely they will be comfortable until he starts performing at a high level.

Gunner's favorite movies are Pulp Fiction, Iron Man (just the first one), and every James Bond film ever made. He's learning TV and cinema and hoping to always enjoy movies as he does now.