The Los Angeles Dodgers saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end on Wednesday in a 3-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in extra innings at Chase Field.
While offense was at a premium for both clubs, the Dodgers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and provided Kenta Maeda all of the run support he needed. The right-hander pitched brilliantly, allowing just one run on two hits with seven strikeouts over five innings of work.
Maeda threw just 70 pitches in those five innings, but saw his outing cut short when Dodgers manager Dave Roberts summoned Julio Urias out of the bullpen for the bottom of the sixth.
The decision surprised Maeda, who confirmed after the game that he was prepared to continue pitching, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“I was 100% ready to go out there and pitch another inning.”
There was some belief Maeda’s removal was a result of legging out an infield single in the top of the fifth. He appeared to have a slight hitch in his gate after running through the bag. Of course, Maeda did pitch in the bottom half of the inning.
Thus, citing the Diamondbacks’ left-handed heavy lineup, Roberts felt a rested Urias was the best option for the Dodgers at that particular point in the game:
“I thought Kenta threw the ball really well. Right there, for me, with Julio rested and a very heavy left-handed lineup, just felt Kenta gave us what he had to win a baseball game. … We’ve pushed Kenta at times (to face a lineup a third time through). There’s times to kind of taper back a little bit. You look at where the game’s at, it’s going to be a tight ballgame. You look at that runway and in that spot, I felt Julio, with his usage, gave us the best chance to go two more innings. Kenta had one more inning but where they were at in the lineup, I just felt it was the right decision.”
Prior to Wednesday’s outing against the Diamondbacks, Maeda had logged at least six innings pitched in four of his previous five starts dating back to the beginning of May.
The outcome ultimately didn’t hinge on Roberts’ decision to pull his starter in favor of Urias. The left-hander logged two scoreless innings and tallied his first hold of the season. Urias did not yield a baserunner and accumulated three strikeouts for his efforts.
Urias was eventually supplanted by Pedro Baez, who allowed a two-out, game-tying RBI double to Jarrod Dyson in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Arizona would win the game in the 11th inning on David Peralta’s walk-off single against Scott Alexander, who faced three batters and failed to record an out.