The Dodgers got themselves into a bit of an offensive battle today with the Diamondbacks and surprisingly came out on top, 7-4, behind two homers from Joc Pederson and additional dingers from Justin Turner and Chase Utley.
Unfortunately, nothing good can happen for the Dodgers this year without something disastrously bad immediately following, and that seemed to manifest itself in the form of Kenta Maeda‘s ugly looking injury after being hit on the knee from a comebacker off the bat of Paul Goldschmidt. Fortunately, the X-rays were negative, so hopefully he’ll be alright.
For now, though, let’s start with the Dodgers offense, which was no-hit through four innings and it certainly looked like it would be more of the same from them. However, with one out in the fifth inning, Joc destroyed a 3-1 fastball to right-field to break up the no-hitter and the shutout.
Then, much to the chagrin of Steve Lyons, the Dodgers immediately rallied. Yasmani Grandal worked a walk, which was followed by a Howie Kendrick walk, and then a Kenta sacrifice to move them to second and third. That brought up Utley, who singled sharply past the second baseman for two runs.
The Dodgers then struck again in the top of the sixth, with dual dongs from JT…
…and Joc (again).
Then in the seventh the Dodgers struck once again courtesy of the long ball. After a Howie double, Utley stepped up to the plate and bombed a 2-2 pitch to right field.
When all was said and done, the Dodgers offense totaled nine hits and three walks, but those nine hits included four homers and a double, which is what made the difference.
Now onto the other side of the ball, where I sorta buried the lede. Kenta pitched relatively effectively, striking out six batters while giving up just two earned runs (three runs) on six hits and a walk in his 5 1/3 innings of work. Unfortunately, his 84th pitch was his last, as Goldschmidt hammered a line drive right back at him and it caught him flush on the knee/shin.
It was an ugly scene, and it was hard not to think there was something seriously wrong with him given the amount of pain he was in, the fact that he couldn’t put any weight on it, and that even after sitting on the bench to recover a bit, he still couldn’t make it down the stairs without basically being carried.
Still, early reports on the X-rays were positive, putting the injury at only a contusion.
Kenta Maeda has a right lower leg contusion, X-rays negative per Dodgers (and TV broadcast)
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) June 15, 2016
This is the part where I warn you against joy, because Andre Ethier‘s diagnosis was the same and months later he still hasn’t been cleared to resume baseball activities.
Anyway, going back to the game, the bullpen was excellent yet again. J.P. Howell faced only one batter in relief of Maeda, and he gave up a single that eventually scored. That run ended up being the only blemish on the record of the bullpen, as Louis Coleman, Casey Fien, Joe Blanton, and Kenley Jansen proceeded to combine for 3 2/3 scoreless innings of work.
Perhaps none of those scoreless appearances were more important than a suddenly struggling (for him) Jansen, who struck out the side in the ninth for the save.
The Dodgers are now 34-32 on the year overall, and 17-18 away from home. They’ll look to get back to .500 on the road tomorrow.