Dodgers 3, Padres 1: KKKKKKKKKKKKKenta Maeda

The Dodgers beat the Padres, 3-1, on the day before the All-Star break behind the dominant Clayton Kershaw impersonation of Kenta Maeda. That results in a series win for the Dodgers, and they’ve now finished the first half of the season with three-straight victories, and have also somehow ended up finishing with the same record through 91 games as each of the previous two seasons.

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Maeda was thoroughly dominant this afternoon, throwing seven innings and 97 pitches, though unfortunately that effort came the day before the bullpen gets four days off anyway.

Nevertheless, this was a rare occurrence for Dodgers starters and it’s a welcome sight.

Maeda set a career high in strikeouts with 13, and he did that while walking nobody and only allowing two hits. The only run he allowed was on a solo shot, and other than that, most of his innings looked like the sixth did.

Maeda promised to pitch better after his last outing, and he certainly kept his word, dropping his ERA to 2.95 on the year.

As far as the offense goes, they struggled with actually taking advantage of the chances they had. 10 hits (with a double and homer) and a walk isn’t terrible or anything, but they were only able to cash in three runs.

Luckily, they did just enough. The Dodgers got off to a quick start in the first with Howie Kendrick leading off with a double, and Corey Seager immediately cashing in with a single to score Kendrick and put the Dodgers up 1-0. The lead was extended in the second when Yasmani Grandal and Scott Van Slyke both had singles to center to start the frame. Maeda bunted into a force out at third, but Kendrick singled to left to drive in SVS and score a run to make it 2-0.

After the Padres got a run in the fifth, the Dodgers came back with one of their own, as Adrian Gonzalez hit the aforementioned homer.

That put the game at the final score of 3-1, mainly because Joe Blanton and Kenley Jansen entered to get the final two frames with scoreless innings, even if Jansen made it more exciting than anybody wanted. Blanton got his 14th hold of the season and Kenley notched his 27th save.

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With the win, the Dodgers finish the first half of the season at 51-40 overall and 30-18 at home. They temporarily cut the Giants lead in the NL West to 6 games, but the Giants still play later today. The Dodgers still lead the race for both home-field advantage in the NL Wild Card race and the race to make the NL Wild Card game by 2.5 games over the Mets and Marlins.

Next up for the Dodgers (and everybody else) is four days off for the All-Star break before heading out on an important road trip starting off against the Diamondbacks at 3:40 PM HST/6:40 PM PST/9:40 PM EST. Not sure who is starting for the D-Backs yet, but the Dodgers will send Bud Norris (2.45 ERA/3.09 FIP/3.24 SIERA) to the bump.

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About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama
"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times