Kenta Maeda, the Dodgers’ new Japanese import took the mound at Petco Park in his MLB debut tonight, trying to notch his first win and nail down the sweep over the San Diego Padres. Maeda wore number 18, which is the same number of his ex-Hiroshima Carp teammate and ex-Dodger, Hiroki Kuroda.
Those silly Padres once again tried to change their mojo with a uniform change, wearing their third different uniform for the third consecutive game. Tonight it was the ol’ NATO, Interpol, Euro-inspired gray and off-blue camo unis. They sent Andrew Cashner to the mound and said, “Please stop the Dodgers.”
Spoiler Alert: They did not stop the buzzsaw known as the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Here’s how it all went down:
Chase Utley batted first again and started things off right with a lead off triple.
Justin Turner then drove him in with a clean single to Matt Kemp.
Adrian Gonzalez followed with a walk.
Two on for Puig who skied a deep fly out to right field.
Turner advanced to third with two out.
Carl Crawford rapped out an RBI double after a great at bat. He fouled off about five pitches before bringing in J.T. to score.
Joc Pederson was next up. He knocked in Gonzalez and CC with a smart single up the middle. He took what Cashner gave him, he didn’t overswing, and cashed in two Dodger runs.
A.J. Ellis flied out for the third out.
Matt Kemp took Maeda deeeeep to the wall for the third out as the Padres went 1,2,3 again.
2nd inning: Dodgers up 4-0
Maeda struck out in his first American baseball at bat.
That was it as the Dodgers went quietly.
First batter up Wil Myers got on after a bunt and took second on Maeda’s wild throwing error way off to the left of first baseman Gonzalez.
The Padres left him there.
3rd inning: Dodgers 4-0 and 20 straight scoreless innings
Justin Turner started the inning off by striking out on a jammed, inside pitch, check swing.
A-Gon collected a 4-pitch walk
Yasiel Puig continued his hot swinging with a sharp single to advance Gonzalez.
But neither of them came around to score.
4th inning Dodgers 4-0 (23 straight scoreless innings)
Padres pitcher Cashner was at 79 pitches at this point.
Kenta Maeda came up and absolutely slammed a no doubt about it Dodgers home run. His first, and the Dodgers’ first of the year! Sugoi, Kenta san!!!
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Trivia: Maeda hit only two home runs in 8 seasons in Japan.
Matt Kemp hit an excellent 2-seam tailing fastball off Maeda for a clean single.
Will Myers advanced Kemp to third with another single.
Padres on first and third with one out.
Yangervis Solarte then bounced one to Adrian Gonzalez, who gloved it and eyed Kemp back to third. He tagged Solarte out about halfway between home and first base.
Maeda induced another grounder to Gonzo who flipped the ball to a covering Kenta at first to end the Padre threat.
5th inning: Dodgers 5-0 (22 scoreless innings)
New Padres pitcher, Ryan Buchter.
Adrian Gonzalez came up with one out and less home runs than the pitcher. He walked.
Yasiel Puig followed up with his second hit of the night – a single through the shortstop hole.
CC advanced the runners but was thrown out at first.
Joc Pederson then reverted to the “hit it hard as I can” swing. The result was two hard, empty swings, and then watching one go past him right down the pipe for strike three. Third out.
3 up, 3 down. the Dodgers are now at 23 scoreless innings, tying the 1974 Dodgers for the best pitching start to a season in the Dodgers’ franchise. MLB records await.
6th inning Dodgers 5-0
Carlos Villanueva now making his Padres debut.
They went quietly.
Corey Seager and young Joc let a ball drop between them for a hit.
On the next batter Seager made a great play at short and threw to Chase Utley at second for a possible double play. The feed was a bit high and Utley dropped it, but the skipper challenged the umpire’s call. Instant replay challenge showed Utley touched the dropped ball to the bag for the force out.
Matt Kemp came up with one on and one out. He rapped out a hard single up the middle.
Padres on first and third.
Grounder to A-Gon who quickly fired home to Ellis for a play at the plate. TV replays looked like Cory Spangenberg was safe. The Padres appealed. Would it be the first run of the year for the Padres? Would the Dodgers’ pitching staff scoreless streak be broken? The Padres lost after an appeal that dragged on for over 3-minutes. Haha – I mean, Wow! 2 out.
Maeda struck out the next Padre to lead the Dodgers to the new franchise record of 24 scoreless innings to begin a season.
Maeda was done for the night after 84 pitches, 4 ks, 12 ground outs and one fly out.
7th inning Dodgers 5-0
J.T. hit a one out single to right.
A-Gon hit into the shift and a double play.
Yimi Garcia in for the Dodgers.
3 up and 3 down made it 25 scoreless innings.
8th inning: Dodgers 6-0
Puig caught a hold of one and solidly tagged it for a homer to CF.
That was it for the inning. It was enough.
J.P. Howell in for the Dodgers.
3 up, 3 down. I’m now thinking of making a keyboard shortcut that types that out.
9th inning: Dodgers 6-0 (26 scoreless innings)
Luis Perdomo in against Enrique Hernandez batting for the pitcher. Single for Kike.
Corey Seager singled Kike over to third.
JT rapped out a sac fly to Kemp, bringing in Kike for the 7th Dodger run.
Joe Blanton gets the call to the mound and the challenge to add yet another scoreless inning.
3 outs to go and Matt Kemp standing in the way. A swinging third strike got by Ellis and he had to throw down the first base line on a close play to get Kemp.
2 up, 2 down.
Meanwhile, Puig was in the outfield catching mosquitoes.
The final out was another fly ball to Pederson and the Puig helicopter. The helicopter took it and threw his arm around young Joc.
The Dodgers tie the 1963 St. Louis Cardinals in starting off the season with 3 straight shutouts.
Maeda’s line: ^innings, 5 hits, 4 Ks. Maeda’s and the entire Dodgers pitching staff ERAs: 0.00
Is this season starting off MAGICAL, or what?