The Dodgers had a nice three-game winning streak coming into today, including winning seven of their last eight, and they had to like their chances with Kenta Maeda against Dillon Peters. However, thanks to the bats getting generally pooped on and the bullpen struggling late, the Dodgers took home the loss, 3-2.
Maeda entered today’s start with a 3.77 ERA but 1.08 FIP, so one way or another, something had to give. Fortunately, it wasn’t his peripherals, as he struck out seven batters over six innings and allowed just a single run on a solo homer to J.T. Realmuto in the 3rd. Maeda threw just 82 pitches on the night before being removed, and got through his start surrendering just four hits and a single walk.
However, they then made three outs to squander the remaining chance and wasted another scoring opportunity in the 3rd. Through the 6th, the bats managed just four hits and two walks … less than ideal.
A breakthrough (sorta) came in the 7th thanks to a two-out rally. Joc Pederson drew a walk, Chris Taylor singled, and Corey Seager also walked. Dave Roberts then pinch-hit Chase Utley for the red-hot Enrique Hernandez, but it worked out, as Utley drew a professional walk for a 2-1 lead (though they got nothing else).
For the bullpen, newly called up Daniel Hudson entered in the 7th and he cruised through the inning with a mid-90s fastball and high-80s slider, striking out two in the process. That brought in Tony Cingrani, who started the 8th with a strikeout. But he then allowed a flare single between short and center, and proceeded to allow a dubious balk to move him to second (it was Joe West over there, sooo … yeah). After inducing a fly out, the balk came back to bite Cingrani as Starlin Castro roped a double to left to tie the game at 2-2. While Cingrani then notched a strikeout to end it, then turning around to yell at West, it didn’t matter as the damage was done.
Then came a puzzling move in the 9th, when despite having both warmed up, Roberts turned to Pedro Baez over Kenley Jansen despite being the home team. I can’t think of a reason to do that, honestly. Anyway, predictably that came back to bite them immediately, as Pedro surrendered a single and a double to the first two batters he faced and the Marlins took a 3-2 lead. Miraculously, he got out of it without further damage, but … well that didn’t mean a whole lot.
Dave Roberts, Joe West, and Pedro Baez will understandably take their fair share of heat for this loss, but in the end, the offense needs to do better than two runs against this pitching staff.
The Dodgers drop back to .500 with the loss at 11-11 and 7-7 at home.