Kenta Maeda (0.47 ERA) remains out of this world in Dodger win over Giants

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Joc Pederson hit a huge two-run homer, but I already wrote the piece on why this was only a matter of time. So let’s talk about Kenta Maeda …

Image-1[22]By Jon Weisman

Some night, Kenta Maeda will come back to Earth. Earth has this relentless habit of knocking its residents down. I don’t know why Earth is hostile like this. Maybe it feels unappreciated.

Or maybe Earth is just testing us. Because tonight, just when terra firma was ready to terra new one in Maeda, Maeda shook loose and soared again.

Maeda walked two of the first four batters he faced and went 3-0 in the count to the fifth, but recovered to complete seven superb innings in the National League West-leading Dodgers’ 3-1 victory over San Francisco.

Coming back (not unexpectedly) from Saturday’s disappointment, Joc Pederson hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to put Maeda and the Dodgers ahead, and Yasiel Puig added an insurance run in the seventh with a single, stolen base and mad dash home on Yasmani Grandal’s RBI hit.

Grandal, by the way, went 4 for 5 with three walks and two doubles this weekend in his first back-to-back starts of 2016. Pederson now has a .514 slugging percentage and .830 OPS this season.

Maeda’s career-opening scoreless streak ended in his 15th MLB inning with a third-inning Joe Panik home run, leaving him just shy of Dave Stewart’s Los Angeles Dodger record of 18 1/3. But after using 24 pitches in his first inning, Maeda needed only 74 more to reach a season-high seven innings.

He faced the minimum nine batters over his final three innings, capping his outing by starting a 1-6-4 double play when Giants starter Jeff Samadzija remained in the game to bunt.

In 19 innings as a Dodger, Maeda has a 0.47 ERA with 15 strikeouts against 18 baserunners. With runners in scoring position, opponents are 0 for 14 against Maeda.

3 Comments

Will Kenta Maeda limited on the number of innings he pitches?

Maeda averaged 28 starts and 200 innings over the last seven years in Japan. The incentives in his contract top out at 32 starts and 200 innings, so the club putting limits on him under those numbers would be unusual (and probably a breach of the contract).

At first things didn’t look too good but apparently he adjusted something and was great thereafter.

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