Seager might be alright at this baseball thing yet.
The game started inauspiciously for Maeda. Sure, he retired the first two batters of the game in the first, but then Freddie Freeman walked on four pitches and a ball got past Yasmani Grandal (who definitely should’ve had it) to advance him to second base. Adonis Garcia then hit a fliner into left field, which definitely looked like Carl Crawford could’ve gotten to, but instead he looked typically confused and the ball fell in front of him to score Freeman and give the Braves an early 1-0 lead.
The mess continued in the second inning for Maeda, as Tyler Flowers ended a 10-pitch at-bat to lead the inning off with a single. After a ground out advanced Flowers to second, the pitcher Julio Teheran singled sharply to right to put runners on the corners, and Mallex Smith singled sharply to center to score Flowers and give the Braves a 2-0 lead.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, waited until the fourth inning to get to Teheran, and of course the damage came via a Seager homer to cut the lead to 2-1.
Then in the fifth, one of the other Dodger hitters to not be completely embarrassing this year hit a solo shot of his own, and Trayce tied the game 2-2.
Because what Seager did in the fourth wasn’t enough, when he came up again in the sixth he drilled another ball over the wall for a 3-2 lead.
If you notice, not much else was said about Maeda’s day, which was because he settled down in a hurry after the second inning. Maeda ended up throwing 107 pitches and going 6.1 innings, surrendering two runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks while striking out five. Maeda struggled mightily with his fine command early, but he found it as the game went on and managed to grind his way through a needed quality start.
Adam Liberatore then emerged from the bullpen, tasked with getting two lefties, and he did so on five pitches to get the team through seven. Joe Blanton, now understandably the setup man, struck out two en route to taking care of the eighth in order.
For the Dodgers offense, they were a bit frustrating in the seventh. After Grandal walked, Thompson doubled down the line to put runners on second and third with nobody out. The Dodgers, of course, didn’t score after Crawford nubbed yet another ball on the infield for an out, newly healthy Scott Van Slyke struck out as a pinch hitter, and Chase Utley got the golden sombrero to end the threat.
Fortunately, Seager took care of business to lead off the eighth, hitting his third homer of the game to boost the lead to 4-2 with an insurance run.
Curtain call well deserved, and the Dodgers needed it given that they totaled just five hits (and three walks) on the night and scored all their runs on solo homers.
Of course, Kenley Jansen entered to get the ninth. Jansen also ruined the bullpen’s perfect night by allowing a single, but otherwise got the save without any damage, securing the victory.
The Dodgers are now 29-27 overall and 14-12 at home with the win.
The Dodgers and Braves play again tomorrow night as the Dodgers go for the series win at 4:10 PM HST/7:10 PM PST/10:10 PM EST with Clayton Kershaw on the hill. Who the Braves send to the mound is a bit of a mystery because scheduled starter Mike Foltynewicz was scratched with elbow soreness. Speculation is that either Bud Norris or John Gant will start in his place, which should be an advantage for the Dodgers because Folty seemed to be putting it together this year and the timing of his injury sucks.