Cardinals @ Dodgers May 25, 2017: Maeda vs. Wacha for the series win

(Via)

Wednesday’s 6-1 loss to the Cardinals was hard to watch on many levels. Rich Hill walked a career-high seven batters, and the Dodgers’ offense only mustered one run on four hits against a dominant Mike Leake. LA now looks to Kenta Maeda for a quality start in the rubber game on Thursday night in order to secure the series win against the face-masked Red Birds.

Cardinals
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
CF
 Fowler
CF
Taylor
LF
Pham
SS
Seager
1B
Carpenter
C
Grandal
3B
Gyorko
1B
González
C
Molina
LF
Bellinger
RF
Piscotty
2B
Utley
SS
Diaz 3B Hernandez
2B
Wong
RF
Puig
P
Wacha (R)
P
Maeda (R)

Maeda (3-2, 5.03 ERA, 4.33 FIP) was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list for the pivotal start against the Cardinals. Before landing on the DL with hamstring tightness, Maeda threw a career-high 104 pitches against the Pirates on May 10 in arguably his best start of the year. He held the Bucs to two runs on five hits in 8 1/3 innings in the 5-2 Dodger win.

Demonstrating the fine-tuned command that he is known for in his last couple of starts, Maeda fought back from the brink of a possible demotion or role reevaluation after a rough start to the season. After allowing 19 earned runs including seven home runs in his first 26 innings pitched in April (6.58 ERA), he’s allowed three earned runs on eight hits in 13 1/3 (2.03 ERA) in his first two starts of May.

Maeda has only faced St. Louis once in his career on July 23, 2016 at Busch Stadium. He allowed two runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings for the win.

The Dodgers’ offense will have to somehow wake up against Michael Wacha (2-1, 2.74 ERA, 3.34 FIP), who takes the fifth-best ERA in the NL into Thursday’s series finale. Like his teammate Lance Lynn, Wacha is excelling after returning from Tommy John surgery. He shut out the Giants last time out, allowing four hits in six innings before being pulled early to limit his innings.

Overall, Wacha is 1-2 with a 3.57 ERA in four games against the Dodgers. He famously pitched against his former college roommate Ross Stripling last May at Dodger Stadium, losing a bet that won Stripling a lobster dinner after he recorded his first career hit off Wacha with a single to right field in the second inning. Stripling, now in the Dodgers’ bullpen as a long-man, pitched two innings of scoreless ball in relief of Hill Wednesday night.

——

Joc Pederson was placed on the seven-day disabled list for concussion (retroactive to May 24) to make room for Maeda on the roster. Pederson suffered a neck strain and concussion in the scary outfield collision with Yasiel Puig on Tuesday night. Chris Taylor starts in center field again, leading off. Enrique Hernandez gets his turn at the hot corner.

The Dodgers, at least for now, will go back to a five-man starting rotation. Hyun-Jin Ryu‘s next start is up in the air.

There’s not much the Dodgers can do about the Rockies and D-backs. They keep winning. Colorado has won seven of their last ten games (they lost 2-1 to Philadelphia in 11 innings earlier today), and Arizona has won eight of their last ten. Some more consistency out of the Dodgers’ rotation plus offense to pick up their pitchers would be great though.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler
Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.