One day after the Dodgers traded for now-ex-Texas Rangers ace, Yu Darvish, Kenta Maeda made a statement to anyone listening that he will not go down quietly into the Atlanta night. That turned out great for the Dodgers, and not so much for the Atlanta Braves, as Maeda delivered what may be his best pitching performance of 2017.
Maeda threw a dominating seven scoreless innings. He was hitless through four, and ended his night with giving up only two hits, one walk, and striking out seven. He didn;t need an expanded strike zone to help, as his pitch command was magnificent tonight.
The Dodgers lost the shutout when the skipper pulled Maeda after seven and inserted Josh Ravin, who immediately set fire to everything Maeda had built. He walked a batter and then gave up a two run home run to suddenly give the Braves a look at the game. Roberts practically ran out to the mound to yank Ravin off, and he brought in the newest addition to the bullpen, ex-Pirate, Tony Watson. The southpaw gave up a hit, but settled things down and closed out the eighth inning without anyone scoring.
The Dodgers’ steamroller offense, led by Yasiel Puig, was its usual self and scored just enough runs to ensure the win. Puig doubled in the third inning, and was knocked in to score the first run of the game by Chris Taylor‘s double.
In the next inning, Cody Bellinger slammed his 29th homer of the year.
Without skipping a beat, the Dodgers scored again for the third consecutive inning. This one took a bit of work. Yasiel once agin got things started with a simple single. He advanced to second on a sac bunt, and then the real fun started. Puig stole third base, and then came home with his second run of the night on a bad throw which went into left field.
That was all the boys scored, but it was enough, as Watson shut the Braves down in the eighth, and Kenley Jansen did some steamrolling of his own in the ninth to strike out the side and nail down the win.
Hyun-Jin Ryu served notice to the Dodgers that he’s still got gas in his tank in his last outing, and now Kenta Maeda has done the same. The Dodgers now look like a team with six legitimate starting pitchers, and that is a wonderful problem to have.
Dodgers Win 3-2!