The Los Angeles Dodgers lost their second consecutive game at Dodger Stadium for the first time since April on Saturday night, falling to the San Diego Padres, 3-1.
Kenta Maeda turned in one of his best outings of the season, the only problem was that his offense did not provide much support.
Maeda looked extremely sharp early, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning with the only runner reaching base doing so on an error. He was also efficient, allowing him to pitch deep into the game.
The Padres finally got to the right-hander in the top of the seventh inning when Hunter Renfroe hit a two-out home run to break a scoreless tie. Maeda remained in the game though, pitching into the eighth inning for the first time since last May.
San Diego got to him again in the eighth though when Manuel Margot hit a two-run shot to extend their lead. After the loss, Maeda did not make any excuses for the home run balls he gave up, simply admitting that he missed his spots, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“I did misplace those two pitches, that home run, that one was on me so I just didn’t feel that great.”
Renfroe has done plenty damage against the Dodgers this season, hitting three go-ahead home runs in the seventh inning or later, which also included the game-winner on Friday night.
He is just 5-for-18 against Maeda in his career though, so the Dodgers righty is not going to look too far into the home run he hit off him Saturday night:
“Renfroe against me, he doesn’t really affect me. He doesn’t have great numbers against me so I just try not to think too much about it.”
Maeda additionally added he has seen a positive progression, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“I have had some good outings and some bad outings, but I believe I am progressing,” said Maeda. “Outing by outing, I’m getting good results and hopefully I can take it into the rest of the season to get good results.”
Maeda has been solid for the Dodgers all season long, finishing up the first half with a 7-5 record to go along with a 3.76 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 17 starts. He has struck out 94 and walked 31 in 95.2 total innings.
It will be interesting to see how the Dodgers handle him in the second half considering they have moved him to the bullpen in each of the last two seasons in preparation for a reliever role in the postseason.
With Rich Hill on the injured list though, Maeda is the Dodgers’ fourth starter. If Hill is not able to return, then Maeda could very well remain in the rotation.