Japanese import Kenta Maeda and center fielder Joc Pederson delivered big for the Dodgers on Sunday evening during their 3-1 victory over the Giants on ESPN Sunday night baseball. Maeda’s solid pitching and Joc’s huge two-run home in the fifth frame were the difference makers for the Dodgers. The victory gave the Dodgers a series win and sole possession of first place in the NL West. The Dodgers actually defeated the Giants and were not embarrassed on a nationally broadcasted game. Sounds good to me.
The late start game time featured full shadow updates from the ESPN crew. They were in midseason form with the shadow analysis. Ironically Kenta Maeda cast a shadow over the Giant hitters throughout the game. The right hander struggled with his command early. He walked two in the first inning, which is a rare feat for the control specialist. Maeda had only walked one during his first two starts. He finished the game with three, and none of the free passes scored.
Giants 1 5 0
Dodgers 3 6 0
Maeda used his ability to get hitters to swing at bad pitches out of the strike zone, limiting the Giants to just one earned run on 4 hits across 7 innings pitched. He struck out seven and did a magnificent job mixing his pitches to keep hitters off balance. The only blemish on his otherwise outstanding night was a solo home run to Joe Panik in the top of the third inning. He also got a huge double play (Matt Duffy) to escape a first and second jam in the top of the fourth inning.
The Dodgers came from behind off of opposing starter Jeff Samardzija, who looked to be on top of his game early on in the game. In the bottom of the fifth, Yasmani Grandal walked, and Joc blasted his second home run of the season into the right field pavilions. The Dodgers went ahead 2-1. They added an insurance run later in the seventh inning. Yasiel Puig singled and stole second base.
Grandal singled off of Brandon Crawford’s glove. The shortstop made a nice diving stop to keep the ball in the infield, but could not get the out at first. With no play at first, Puig seized the opportunity to come around and score. Crawford’s throw to home was on the mark, but Buster Posey dropped the ball. It was ballsy base running, but I liked it!
The Dodger bullpen took things the rest of the way. Chris Hatcher pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Kenley Jansen came in to pitch the top of the ninth. Maeda picked up his second win as a Dodger and Jansen earns his fifth save of the season. The Giants were 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position.
With the win the Dodgers improve to 8-5 on the year, and go into their second road trip of the season with a winning home stand. Monday the Dodgers are off and then they travel to Atlanta to begin a six-game road trip. They’ll play three in Atlanta, and three in Colorado over the weekend. Beating the Giants feels so good! It’s a great way to end the week for everyone. Go Blue!