Dodgers @ D-backs June 5, 2019: Maeda takes on Duplantier, AZ’s top pitching prospect

The Dodgers (43-19) haven’t lost a game since May 28. They go for eight straight wins and a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks (30-32) on Wednesday afternoon at Chase Field.

Dodgers
D-backs
12:40 p.m.
Phoenix
LF
Pederson
CF
Dyson
1B
Muncy
3B
Escobar
3B
Turner
2B
Marte
RF
Bellinger
LF
Peralta
SS
Seager
1B
Walker
2B
Taylor
C
Avila
CF
Verdugo SS Ahmed
C
Smith
RF
Locastro
P
Maeda (R)
P
Duplantier (R)

Kenta Maeda (7-2, 3.61 ERA, 4.04 FIP) went 4-0 with a 2.73 ERA, 0.674 WHIP and 10.3 K/9 in the month of May (five starts) after struggling to start the season with a 1.500 WHIP in 32.2 innings (six starts). Last time out against the Phillies, Maeda allowed two runs on three hits with six strikeouts and no walks in six innings of work for his fourth straight win.

Maeda’s most effective when he has good command. He hasn’t allowed a walk in his last three starts (17.2 innings). He’ll will face a big challenge as he looks to slay the beast that is Chase Field. The right-hander has historically struggled in the Arizona desert, going 2-4 with a 7.31 ERA and 1.624 WHIP in eight career games (six starts). He’s also allowed nine home runs at Chase Field in those eight games, the most at any opposing ball park.

Not to sound like a Debbie Downer, but Maeda’s also had a rough time on the road this year with a 5.64 ERA and 1.516 WHIP in six starts. He’ll need to pitch carefully to Ketel Marte who is 7-for-12 (.583) against him.

Jon Duplantier (1-0, 3.18 ERA, 3.20 FIP) made his first career major-league start against the Mets last Friday. He wasn’t involved in the decision after allowing three runs on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks over five innings.

The 24-year old right-hander, Arizona’s top pitching prospect (the team’s No. 2 ranked prospect overall), made five relief appearances for Arizona prior to his first start. The D-backs promoted the rookie pitcher from Triple-A Reno for the fourth time this season after Luke Weaver landed on the injured list with a mild flexor pronator strain and mild UCL sprain. Duplantier was very successful in the minors and went 17-4 with a 2.01 ERA and 10.1 K/9 in 48 games (46 starts). His medical history has been the biggest question mark as far as his long-term outlook in the majors as a starter.

Duplantier has a two-seam fastball that reaches the mid-90’s, a four-seamer plus an above-average curveball and slider. He has a changeup too.

In the last 30 days, the Dodgers’ starting rotation has been completely dominant. They lead the majors in ERA (1.95). That’s more than a full point better than the second-best starting staff during that span, the Rays (3.14). They also lead baseball with a miniscule 0.86 WHIP over that period.

Dodger starters have also pitched the most innings (170.1), lessoning the burden on the inconsistent bullpen. At some point the pen is going to need some reinforcements in order to keep the starters fresh down the stretch and into the postseason.

——

There was a roster move prior to the game.

Plus an update on A.J. Pollock.

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.