Dodgers News: Kenta Maeda Found Difficulty Establishing Rhythm After Long Layoff
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After pitching through hamstring tightness for multiple weeks, Kenta Maeda was at last forced to the 10-day disabled list one day following an outing in which he threw a career-best 8.1 innings. The start was another encouraging outing for the right-hander who had previously struggled.

Maeda was only expected to miss one turn through the rotation, but his time on the DL spanned two weeks. He was activated to start Thursday’s rubber match against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Maeda allowed three runs in the first inning, threw 25 pitches and needed to work out a bases-loaded jam. “It was a little hard getting into the game after the long layoff,” he said through a translator.

“I think overall it just took some time to get my rhythm back. I was throwing a lot of balls, my off-speed pitches were flat, but I was able to work on that and get my rhythm back.”

Maeda went into the start hoping to build some momentum with his return from the disabled list. Although he fell behind early, the 29-year-old blanked the Cardinals over the next four innings. The only real threat during that stretch came when the first two batters reached in the third.

“I was able to make the adjustments,” Maeda said. “I think overall it was a good game for me.”

After beginning the season 1-2 with an 8.05 ERA through his first four starts, the right-hander has gone 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA in his past four games.

Maeda’s expressing some of the difficulty he had after time missed may lend to the Dodgers taking some pause when determining if a minor injury warrants a stint on the disabled list.

Maeda should see some consistency for at least the next week, with manager Dave Roberts sticking to the team’s current five-man rotation for a minimum of another turn.