As Jim highlighted in the preview, Kenta Maeda had not won since May and over his previous 11 starts had an ERA over 5 despite a .207 BA, .679 OPS Against. But tonight positive regression kicked in as he completely shut down the Diamondbacks offense.
Maeda Started off the game perfect through three innings, including 6 groundouts and a couple of K’s.
At the same time, Alex Young was just not as sharp as we’ve seen him prior to tonight. He started off ok with a scoreless, three up, three down 1st inning. But in the second he left a 2-1 cutter up and over the plate to Max Muncy, who hit the ball 428 feet to straightaway Center for a 1-0 Dodgers lead.
In the 3rd inning Russell Martin started things off with a leadoff double, and after a 2 out Intentional Walk to Justin Turner, former DBack Kristopher Negron line a single to center to score Martin. Turner made too big a turn past second as the relay throw came in to third, and was hung up in a rundown. Unfortunately Eduardo Escobar had nobody to throw to as nobody was covering 2ndbase. Wilmer Flores inexplicably was running towards first base and there was nobody covering the bag. That would have been the third out of the inning.
Young did manage to get Cody Bellinger to ground out to first to end the inning, but not before Bellinger saw nine pitches in the at bat, running Young’s pitch count up to 54. That might have been a factor in the 4th as the wheels fell off for Young.
It started with a Leadoff Walk to Muncy, and a ground out later, Young also walked Corey Seager. Russell Martin then ripped an RBI single down the line into left, scoring Muncy , with Seager moving up to 3rd. Then a safety squeeze on a perfect bunt by Maeda scored Seager. Young made an ill advised attempt to get Seager at home when he had no play. He probably should have just gone to first and taken the out. AJ Pollock then hit a ball into the hole between Short and Third. Marte Ranged far to his right to get the ball and tossed to Eduardo Escobar. But Eddie wasn’t aware of where he was and being too far off the bag failed to record the out, loading the bases. This concluded a series of mental miscues, that while perhaps not leading directly to any runs, was the kind of sloppy play this team has displayed more frequently than you’d like recently.
That was also the end of Young’s night. Young’s final line was:
3 1⁄3 IP, 5 hits, 4 Runs all earned, 3 Walks 2 K’s and the Homer. He said after the game he was trying to be too perfect on the edges and not executing his pitches
Kevin Ginkel came on and got two flyouts to end the inning, but the damage was done. The 4-0 lead was more than Dodgers would need on this night.
Maeda gave up a couple of hits in the 4th but Jarrod Dyson was caught stealing and Ketel Marte was stranded by the slumping Eduardo Escobar (0-10 in the series) and then David Peralta. Maeda allowed only one more single over the net three innings, a one out single to Christian Walker in the 6th. In all the Dodgers hurler completed seven shutout innings with just 3 hits, no walks, and 6 K’s.
The Dodgers used three relievers to get the final six outs, including Kenley Jansen in the 9th. So perhaps that will pay off if there is a save situation tomorrow, with Jansen having worked last night as well. Ketel Marte did manage a one out single against Jansen, but overall he didn’t have to work too hard.
The lone bright spot of this game was the Diamondbacks bullpen. In addition to Ginkel getting out of the bases loaded jam, Robby Scott worked 2 2⁄3 scoreless innings, throwing 48 pitches. Yoan Lopez also retired all four batters he faced. With 4 2⁄3 scoreless innings total from the bullpen they gave the team a chance to get back in the game, but the hitters were just not up to it tonight.
With the loss the Diamondbacks fall to 2.5 Games back in the wild card chase
So much for the narrative of a “turning point” in the season. However the Dbacks still have a chance to take the series tomorrow if they can get to Hyun Jin Ryu who is being activated from the 10 Day IL. Maybe a bit of rust will help the DBacks bats to wake up. Mike Leake will take the ball for the DBacks. The game time is 1:10 P.M.
Taking on Water: Alex Young -25%, David Peralta -7.2%, Jarrod Dyson -7.2%, Eduardo Escobar. -6.3%
Trying valiantly to plug holes: Kevin Ginkel +3.6%, Ketel Marte +2.5%
COTN appropriately goes to Makakilo