When the Los Angeles Dodgers lost Zack Greinke to the Arizona Diamondbacks, they moved to sign Kenta Maeda as one of the means to replace the 2015 ERA leader in their rotation. The right-handers now duel on Labor Day as the Dodgers and Diamondbacks open a three-game series.
Yasmani Grandal likened Maeda to Greinke during Spring Training, and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Monday the pitchers have similarities. The manager also noted Greinke has a superior changeup, while Maeda owns a better slider, in Roberts’ estimation.
Greinke faces the Dodgers for just the second time this season. He went seven innings at Chase Field and allowed two runs on seven hits in the first outing.
Greinke added six strikeouts and earned the win. He’s thrived at Dodger Stadium throughout his career, going 29-5 with a 2.00 ERA and 0.93 WHIP over 47 starts.
Roberts gave the slight edge to Greinke in the matchup considering his acumen and meticulous attention to detail. “He knows a lot of the hitters’ weaknesses and tendencies,” Roberts said.
“It’s going to be a fun cat and mouse affair. To have him back at Dodger Stadium, there’s going to be a lot of energy. Guys are looking forward to competing against him.”
Corey Seager is the only Dodger to have success against Greinke, as he is 2-for-3 with a home run and walk. Seager bats second in the Dodgers’ lineup.
Maeda enters 13-8 with a 3.38 ERA, 3.69 FIP and 1.10 WHIP in 26 starts of what’s been a successful first season in the Majors. Maeda is 5-5 with a 3.46 ERA in 13 starts at Dodger Stadium.
He has faced Arizona four times this season, going 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA. One outing included a scary incident where Maeda was struck on his right shin by a line drive. He was immediately removed from the game but avoided serious injury.
Maeda is the second of four straight rookie pitchers that are starting. Jose De Leon began the stretch Sunday, and Maeda is followed by Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart in the series with the Diamondbacks.
The trio of right-handers will need to solve Paul Godlschmidt, who is a career .337/.398/.621 hitter at Dodger Stadium, with 14 home runs and 36 RBIs in 42 games.
Los Angeles is 4-2 at home against the Diamondbacks this season, and 7-2 overall.
2B: Chase Utley
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
C: Yasmani Grandal
RF: Josh Reddick
LF: Howie Kendrick
CF: Joc Pederson
P: Kenta Maeda
2B: Jean Segura
SS: Chris Owings
CF: A.J. Pollock
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
3B: Jake Lamb
C: Welington Castillo
RF: Yasmany Tomas
LF: Socrates Brito
P: Zack Greinke