Maeda’s Wonderful Pitching, Joc’s Two Homers Help Dodgers Even Series Against Nationals

The Dodgers rebounded quite nicely after a boring 6-0 shutout loss on Thursday, by turning the favor on the Nationals with a 5-0 shutout win on Friday night. Kenta Maeda turned in an excellent performance tossing six shutout frames and the Dodgers hit three home runs. Two of the home runs were smashed by Joc Pederson and David Freese added a two-run shot of his own in the later innings as the Dodgers got back in the win column. Maeda was the star of the show on Friday. The Japanese hurler allowed just one hit and two walks over six perfect frames while striking out six to earn the win. Left hander Julio Urias picked up a rare three inning save by pitching three scoreless innings of his own.

Nationals  0 4 0

Dodgers    5 9 0

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LP-Sanchez-0-6

SV-Urias-2

HR-Pederson-11-12-Freese-3

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

The Dodgers scored one run in the first, fourth, and fifth frames, and added two more in the seventh. Joc Pederson led off the game with a solo home run off of opposing starter Anibal Sanchez. He added another home run in the bottom of the fourth to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth Enrique Hernandez walked, and was erased on a force out from Alex Verdugo before Chris Taylor’s run scoring triple scored Verdugo to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the seventh, Cody Bellinger singled and then scored on a David Freese two-run home run into the right field pavilions to put the Dodgers ahead 5-0.

The Dodgers never looked back. There was a bit of a scare in the bottom of the eighth, but an incredible diving stop from Max Muncy preserved the shutout. In that frame consecutive singles from former Dodger Brian Dozier, and Wilmer Difo put two on with none out and Urias in hot water. After a pop out to Adrian Sanchez and a line out to left from Adam Eaton, and then Victor Robles was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Anthony Rendon smacked a chopper to third that Muncy speared and dove for the bag at third. Muncy’s glove first slide was just ahead of the sliding Dozier to get the out and get the Dodgers out of the inning. Sweet.

The Dodgers even the series. Saturday’s match-up is one for the ages with Max Scherzer countering Walker Buehler. First pitch is slated for 6:10 PM PST. On a side note, Corey Seager was a last minute scratch from the game with Chris Taylor playing short and Hernandez at second. There was no reason given from the Dodgers, but I am sure we’ll find out soon. Hopefully Seager is ok. Otherwise great win! Happy Friday Dodger fam!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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31 thoughts on “Maeda’s Wonderful Pitching, Joc’s Two Homers Help Dodgers Even Series Against Nationals

  1. Quality start by Maeda, 1 hitter through 6. Urias closes the door with 2nd save and completes the combined shutout.

    Offense long ball HR barrage but 0-8 RISP, 8 LOB. Sad to watch them continue to squander scoring opportunities

  2. I liked the idea of leaving a pitcher in the game if they are getting outs, not just changing pitchers because of some pre-existing script written for that player. Urias stayed in the game and should have stayed in the game. It might have been a testing of Urias to see if he can get those three outs in the ninth inning when a save is there to have. The time is now to do that experimentation, Dodgers are in a weak division so do your fiddling in the regular season and not in the post season, like with a gun to your head.
    The LOB and RISP are still valid concerns and are going to be even bigger concerns in the post season. Against cannon fodder teams, it really doesn’t make much of a difference, later however …

    From John Lennon: All we are saying, is give Joc a chance.

    BTW, I like that this board is a very honest place to post, the posters are concerned with the bigger picture (except for one or two) and are not satisfied with regular season success. Most of the posters here are die-hard Dodgers fans and not a bunch of feel good, ass kissers. Yes we can rejoice in wins but not stand around in reach-around formation because we beat the Nats or the other bottom feeders in the MLB. It’s been way too long a drought (1988) for a Dodgers championship, Keep up the good work to the posters that aren’t satisfied with “just good enough”. It is total bullshit to say that a critical assessment is just a negative attitude, that is so far from the truth. Recently someone (no not you Michael, you totally get it) posted a whiny post about things in here, that person totally doesn’t get it and I would suggest they stick to the Pedro Philes site in permanent ass-kissing position.

    1. So true, True Blue,

      Well said. Sure the losses will come… you cannot win them all. If they are totally spanked by a far superior team, I can accept that. What I do not accept are games in which the Dodgers set themselves up for failure.
      1. Not playing their best hand, by shuffling the lineup every night just because they “think” a guy cannot hit a righty or a lefty, or the guy needs a rest, even if they are hot and locked in (i.e. Verdugo) well continually playing slumping players, hoping they will snap out of their slump.
      2. Switching pitchers because they “think” they must play the righty/lefty matchup card every single night. Urias has proven several times that he can work himself out of situations.
      3. Not giving a guy a chance (i.e. Pederson). Let these guys face their fears, instead of assuming they never will never succeed and eventually convince them that they cannot succeed. Eventually, assumed weaknesses become real weaknesses.
      4. Dodgers are too predictable with their player moves. Opposing teams know the Dodgers’ signature moves and can capitalize on them. Especially the use of Kelly, Yimi, and Kenley in certain situations…. opposing teams know ways to get dangerous Dodger hitters out of the lineup… how to be patient at the plate, knowing the tendency for Dodger pitchers to feed them cookies.
      5. Knowing that HR happy Dodgers love to hit directly into the shift, shy away from very hittable strikes waiting for the perfect pitch or flail away at bad pitches.
      6. Knowing the Dodgers do not run, expecting their comrades to smack a homer. Leaving them vulnerable to GIDP or Fielder’s Choice Force Out.
      7. Knowing the Dodgers do not play small ball, or manufacture runs, so it is easy to setup the defense.
      8. Knowing that being patient at the plate and protecting the plate will lead to the Dodger pitchers running out of bullets early and retire by the 5th or 6th inning, leading to the tired, taxed, and predictable bullpen moves.
      9. Knowing the Dodger starters are vulnerable to giving up early leads.
      10. Defensive versatility is a great asset when used properly, but too much can and does cause for defensive lapses, instabilities, and vulnerabilities leading to untimely errors.

      …I’m just sayin’

    2. Tru
      You are right on target. I think people here think that because we do not like Friedman or Dummy that we are just negative. Nothing could be further from the truth and I am not going to kiss the do gooders ass just because they do not want to hear the truth. If dummy does something or Friedman doesn’t get good quality players I will say it. That doesn’t mean I am negative, only that I disapprove of their actions. I love the Dodgers and have for over 60 years and that is why I call it like it is. The correct thing is not to give in to the koolaid drinkers but rather let them know that you do not agree with the passive approach.

  3. Another good win.

    Love the three inning save.

    Athletic reports that Rich Hill is trying to introduce a 3rd pitch. A cutter.

    Scott, as per your post on the previous post. I’ve never run a blog, I believe content matters though. Audiences are drawn to it. So, my advice would be experiment with content. You can get game summaries everywhere, but you need that. Maybe there are other dodger related subject matters you can surface?

    I have found minor league reports to be super interesting.

    Obviously, I find analytics and evaluating them to be interesting.

    But it’s a question for you and Oscar. Determine the audience you want then build some content streams around it.

    Or play with the deck you are given. Have package do content on Roberts’ failings. Have Michael add his historical perspective, as per Michaels last post the idea of trying to come to grips with how the game is now evaluated is an interesting journey….

    Ultimately, it’s your call. I think it’s really tough to come to a once thriving blog to see such few community members.

    But I’m looking for discourse

  4. Scott, just a word of warning, don’t take advise from someone who has already admitted that they don’t read your blog postings. He is not the source I would take advice from anyway. Brutus never has an original thought, he only posts stuff he’s read, plus he obviously has no idea about baseball or team sports in general. So my word of warning, Consider the Source, Brutus genius and whiny strays from the Pedro Phile blog are not the types you want to heed anything from.

    1. Or…

      You could listen to the above from True, who had a great gift for interesting content.

      Lime comparing baseball to abortions.

      Or who could forget his numerous, numerous inventive posts on how there was no official announcements for half a week.

      1. Brutus, you ain’t fooling anyone.

        I have more creativity in one of my nail clippings than you have ever had or will ever have.

  5. Two old Dodgers found new homes today. Fields signed with the Rangers and Edwin Jackson was traded to the Blue Jays…the way he is going he is going to end up playing for every franchise! Giants claimed Altherr from the Phillies. Not sure he will help their offense, but the guy is a whiz with the glove and that will play well at that ballpark. Content and headlines are good things to look at Scott. I would suggest a monthly look at the farm teams maybe, especially focusing on the players who somewhere down the road might have an impact on the team. On a different blog I post on, they had an excellent write up on Estevez who is currently at Tulsa. He impressed me in spring, and that’s hard to do! It is funny because the person who runs that site lives a long way from Dodgerland. He is in Pennsylvania. But I still love the post game analysis. Sometimes you mention stuff I totally missed even though I watched the game. I missed by the way the fact that after he robbed Joc of a hit, Dozier got flipped off by Joc…..they were both smiling about it. But I missed it totally and Joe and Orel, still the two most boring announcers ever, failed to mention it……..

  6. I think Michael, you should do a weekly blog piece, yes I’m serious. You have good insights and you are passionate. It may be more than you want to take on, but I think you would add a good element to this site (just don’t get MJ involved, LOL).

    I saw the bird from Joc in highlights, I won’t be surprised if the MLB does not come down harshly on Joc in order to discourage other players from “expressing” themselves to the fellow players, even if it was in fun.

  7. Thanks Blue. It is something I have thought about. I did write one about being a fan of the Dodgers since Friedman took over for another blog. If I got a really good Verdugo’s blast at the home plate umpire was way more descriptive in nature and unfortunately for Verdugo, I can lip read to some extent. That blast was worthy of Lasorda.

  8. Thanks Blue. It is something I have thought about. I did write one about being a fan of the Dodgers since Friedman took over for another blog. Verdugo’s blast at the home plate umpire was way more descriptive in nature and unfortunately for Verdugo, I can lips read to some extent. That blast was worthy of Lasorda. If I found a subject that I knew I would not look like a putz writing about, I would love to do it. But not until I get back home to Colorado. And only if Scott would want me to do that…

    1. Michael,

      If you are serious email me something you’ve written so I can check it out. We could use some additional articles over here on different perspectives. If you are familiar with wordpress we can add you on.

  9. Another quality start, this time by Buehler (7 innings, of shutout baseball, 7 KO’s) but this time it is wasted.

    Poor defense (2 errors), and blown scoring opportunities (0-5 RISP, 6 LOB, 8 KO’s), bullpen meltdown, another HR cookie served up for a grand slam in the 8th.

    Every time they have Scherzer on the ropes, the Dodgers let him escape, this time with an undeserving win. With the blown game Thursday and this one today, the Dodgers threw away a chance to be up 3-0 and set up a chance for a sweep of the series. Instead they are praying for a split.

    Nothing to be happy about. Really hard to believe they have the most wins in MLB, in spite of all the blown wins they have had.

  10. The Dodgers again lead the National League in scoring. They must be doing something right. They are 3rd in ERA and 2nd in BAA against. Clearly the pitching is pretty good. Since he got here I have been quite critical of Friedman’s many moves, I’m not crazy about the all or nothing approach, strikeouts drive me nuts and the seeming abandonment of the “small ball” principles that I grew up with and coached is completely antithetical to me. But the Dodgers are successful in today’s game. If I’m honest in examining where I find myself I liken it to the day my father railed at me for playing Led Zeppelin on his stereo console. Of course Zeppelin, just like 3 outcome baseball, was what was happening now and Bing Crosby was yesterday. With how baseball is played today, I feel like my dad must have felt listening to Zeppelin. But, unlike my father, who never accepted the change in music, I’m trying to understand, accept, and appreciate, that my team is pretty damn good at what they do. My team has won 6 straight Division Titles and has been to the World Series twice in a row. Bummer they laid eggs there. Unfortunate that Kershaw was no Bumgarner in those Fall Classics. Hopefully we get back and seal the deal.

    I choose to be grateful we don’t have go through what the giants and Padres have to endure – years of futility to rebuild. This current Dodger team isn’t built like I would prefer it be built, but it is built to win in today’s game. For that, I give credit to Friedman. Now, before I leave this plane of existence, can I see some bunt hits against the shift, some plate protection with two strikes, a hit and run, a catcher that can stop everything and outfielders that anticipate the overthrow? I don’t find that to be too much to ask.

    1. I think the debate about tanking (Padres and Cubs) is an interesting one. But I do think what the current front office has done is really quite interesting.

  11. Last nights game, really gave credence to what I and others have been saying all along. So thank you Dodgers for encapsulating all those arguments into one hideous effort. Really no more is need to be said, the Dodgers said it all last night.

  12. Well today was more like it. 6-0 and a granny by Seager. Hope that gets him on a roll. Ryu is their best pitcher by far this season Bellinger’s throw to nail Strasberg at first was awesome. At least the hit Ryu finally gave up in the 8th was not a cheapy. Padres in on Tuesday for a short 2 games then it is on the road to the Queen city.

  13. Some small ball today too, to push those early runs across in a pitcher’s duel.

    Some takeaways from watching essentially the same team under Roberts for the last few years, and these are with a view towards beating the top teams in the post season:

    Our situational hitting is much improved vs. last year. I think a lot of this is replacing Grandal and Puig with Barnes and Verdugo. Grandal and Puig are not dependable on the base paths as well as making contact when we need to move runners. Verdugo was in on all the scoring action today, again.
    In any 7 game series, we need to make sure Ryu pitches at least once at Dodgers Stadium and maybe twice. In the past they’ve tried to manuever things so that Hill pitches at Dodgers Stadium – we need to re-think that.
    It is still early, but it looks to me that Muncy and Pederson are bona big leaguer hitters and will be able to adjust as they go. The jury’s still out on Taylor and Kike, but their defensive flexibility cannot be ignored on a club like this. One thing that both Muncy and Pederson have is their zone awareness and ability to take walks. Taylor and Kike do not seem to have that in them, and having them both in the lineup when we face lefties are real problems.
    A few of our relievers are able to pitch into and out of jams. Stripling, Urias and Jansen. They deserve a longer leash. I am not sure about Floro and Alexander, and sometimes I feel like Roberts and Honeycutt pull them too early. As for Yimi, Baez and Kelly – I have seen enough to know they cannot get themselves out of a jam or a bad break. I would pull them as soon as they give a runner. I like Ferguson a lot as a reliever for the second half of the season, but I am also hoping to be surprised by Gonsolin and May come September and October. Let the kids play.
    The Travis D-Arnaud thing was interesting. Rocky Gale could prove us all wrong, but I am ready for Will Smith to be called up. Let the kids play.

    1. Interesting take Yueh. Makes sense to me.

      Verdugo plays every day. This team is better in every way with him on the field.

      I look at guys like Baez, Garcia and Kelly and think with their stuff they should be unhittable. But the fact is stuff isn’t enough for that job. It looks to me like they throw it up there with a “hope you don’t hit it” attitude instead of a “f you a**hole, there’s no way you hit this”. Relievers must have a bulldog disposition and I don’t see it in these guys. If May and Gonsolin have that take no prisoners mentality then I have them in my bullpen come the pennant drive. Urias looks to me like a blueprint that should be followed. If Kelly was a mistake then correct it. Who cares what he’s being paid. Friedman has thrown a lot of money down the crapper on pitchers that didn’t work out and we didn’t suffer from it.

      I think this team has some real potential, but doing just enough to win the West isn’t good enough anymore. Get the people in place that can go into an AL park and beat them. We’re not there yet, but we can get there.

  14. We can only get there if the management takes advantage of the weak division to experiment with the proper people and their slot in the bullpen (PPP).

    a “f you a**hole, there’s no way you hit this” – same attitude I have when dealing with Brutus, maybe even the “you’re way out of your league, take a seat Meat!” attitude and in fact truth about the matter.

    We are witnessing Ryu and a Player of the Month award if he can stay even close to this level. I think we may be seeing a changing of the guard, Ryu appears to be the ace of the staff. In fact, it may be that the order of the SP is Ryu, Buehler, Kershaw, Hill and some other guy.

  15. Taken from another blog:

    The Dodgers are now tied for 4th in team ERA.
    The starters are still #1 in MLB in total innings pitched.

    The team is taking more walks than last year, I wonder if it’s the new Hitting Coach or more a combination of things including getting rid of Kemp, Puig, Grandal and half a Machado.

    1. How about what you think about it, not just posting about what someone else thinks about it, MEAT! Ah never mind, I don’t really think you know what you would be commenting on anyway. Take a seat, son.

  16. people were asking why don’t more post on here. You two are the reason why. Just put a sock in it for God’s sake please. I’m not taking either side, it’s just getting really old. You are both passionate but please stop the nit pkcking

  17. Ryu is ready to assume the role of Ace of the Staff, and replacing a weary Kershaw and Dodger Pitcher representative in the All-Star Game. His masterful performance masked the offenses’ pitiful 1-8 RISP performance. Also gave the bullpen a day off.

    Great to see Seager cashing in on some RBI’s. I guess he wanted to pile on enough insurance runs to keep Kelly and Baez locked in the pen and provide Jansen with a no pressure situation for the combined 1-hitter.

    Bellinger still “locked in” for MVP and batting crown honors.

    Excellent win to salvage a split with the Nats.

    1. Yes, when Seager reverts to form (or close to form) it will be very nice. Everyone will have slumps, but hopefully when they do Seager can take up the slack.

  18. LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers played Saturday night like it was Opening Day again. They routed the D-backs, 18-5, slugging four more home runs, two by Cody Bellinger, who went 4-for-6 with six RBIs. Justin Turner went 3-for-5 with five RBIs, while Joc Pederson and Austin Barnes also homered. The

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