Angels @ Dodgers July 23, 2019: Maeda opens the Freeway Series against an opener

After a busy morning, the Dodgers return to the field tonight to open up a quick two-game series against the Angels. The Angels won both games in Anaheim, winning each game by a score of 5-3. Still, the Angels find themselves in third place in the AL West, 12.5 games behind Houston. At 67-35, the Dodgers have the best winning percentage and most wins in baseball, and their +165 run differential is the highest mark in the league. The Dodgers are coming off a weekend sweep of the Miami Marlins, where their started allowed one run in 20 innings.

Angels
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
3B
Fletcher
1B
Pederson
CF
Trout
LF
Verdugo
LF
Upton
3B
Turner
RF
Calhoun
RF
Bellinger
SS
Simmons
2B
Muncy
1B
Pujols
CF
Pollock
2B
Rengifo SS Seager
C
Garneau
C
Martin
P
Cole (R)
P
Ryu (R)

Kenta Maeda makes his 20th start and 21st appearance overall for the Dodgers in 2019. His last start came in Philly, and Maeda issued two walks and struck out three in two innings before Mother Nature delayed the game a couple hours. His rain-shortened Philly start led to him appearing in Friday’s game against Miami. Maeda threw a perfect eighth inning, punching out two Marlins on 12 pitches (11 of which were sliders). It was a nice little reminder of the potential boost to the bullpen that Maeda could be, should the Dodgers find another playoff starter.

Maeda pitched in the second game in Anaheim in June and had one of his worst starts of the season. He lasted 4 1/3 innings and issued three walks and allowed three hits and five runs. Most of the damage came with two outs in the first inning. After striking out Mike Trout for the second out of the game, Maeda allowed a dong to Shohei Ohtani and hit Kole Calhoun with a pitch. Another walk and a single scored a run, and Justin Bour hit a three-run shot to give the Angels a five-run inning. Maeda did well to eat a few innings after the rough start, but was pulled with an out in the fourth before having to face Ohtani a third time.

Taylor Cole will serve as the opener in today’s game, as he has three times this season. In his last start, Cole allowed a hit in two innings before giving way to Jaime Barria, who somehow allowed 10 earned runs in 3 2/3 innings in Seattle. A few weeks ago, Cole opened the first game at Angels’ Stadium since the unfortunate passing of Tyler Skaggs. Cole threw two no-hit innings before Felix Pena came in and threw seven no-hit innings in one of the most unbelievably perfect baseball games in recent history. That will be the same combination tonight, as Pena is scheduled to relieve Cole. Pena appeared in a similar “following the opener” role on June 11 against the Dodgers. He got the win after allowing two runs in 3 2/3 innings. Both runs came on a pair of Max Muncy solo homers.

Joc Pederson starts at first base again today, with Max Muncy playing second. Russell Martin catches Maeda for the seventh time this season.

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The big news of the day came earlier, as the Dodgers announced upgrades coming to the stadium and the 2020 All-Star Game logo.

VIN!

In what might be the best “renovation” news, the Dodgers also will reportedly extend the protective netting in August.

They used an impressively old picture (those two-toned bleachers & two visible Eric Gagne shirtseys), but fan safety is a good thing. We bring the hot takes here at Dodgers Digest dot com.

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If you’re heading to the game, look out for those 50/50 raffle tickets.

Really nice move by the organization. The MLB Players’ Trust recently donated $45,000 to the Tyler Skaggs Baseball Foundation, a nod to his number 45. If you won’t be at the game, you can donate here.

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The Dodgers have an open 40-man roster spot now after they outrighted Rocky Gale. Keibert Ruiz was promoted to Triple A OKC, and both he and Will Smith are in the lineup for OKC tonight (so stand down for now, at least in regards to one of them being moved). Maybe we’ll get a #hugwatch.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.