Maeda is Dodgers’ One and Only Shot in Colorado

What I wrote yesterday prior to the Dodgers series opener in Colorado happened pretty much as I wrote it, first with Scott Kazmir again awful on the mound for LA, giving up an early lead after two first inning Dodgers’ home runs, but then still leaving the game with a lead, only to have the bullpen, this time in the personage of Yimi Garcia and Chris Hatcher, give the game away. While the bullpen will not have improved overnight, the


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Dodgers’ second most reliable starter, Kenta Maeda, starts today, and hopefully he’ll get enough run support and remain in the game long enough to record a win.

Another resurrection project will be the on the mound for the Rockies in Tyler Chatwood, who will be making his fourth start of 2016 after missing very close to two full seasons following Tommy John surgery. The 26-year-old came up to the majors in
2011 with the Angels, and after a less than overwhelming rookie season (6-11 in 25 starts, 4.75 ERA and 1.67 WHIP) the Angels traded him to the Rockies for catcher Chris Iannetta. Though he was not much better with the Rockies in 19 games in 2012 (5-6, 5.43 ERA), he improved to 8-5 with a solid 3.15 ERA in 20 games the next season. But, 2014 saw him

So far this year Chatwood has had two excellent starts, throwing seven innings of two-hit ball while allowing a single earned run against Arizona, and last Saturday he two-hit the Cubs over seven shutout innings. But, in between those two games he was rocked for five runs and 11 hits in six innings by the Giants. Little more needs to be said than the fact that the game against the Giants was at Coors Field and the other two fine efforts were on the road.


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There is a good argument that Maeda has actually been the Dodgers’ best starter, with his 2-0 record and 0.47 ERA. Of course Clayton Kershaw is also 2-0, and despite his comparatively astronomic ERA of 1.50, has struck out batters at a far better pace and as his 0.77 WHIP attests, has given up far fewer baserunners per inning. But, unless Maeda can get the Dodgers to closer Kenley Jansen, no lead is safe with the Dodgers’ bullpen in Coors’ Field.

Did you notice who entered the game in the eighth inning last night and who recorded the inning’s last out? None other than lefty reliever Luis Avilán, just recalled to add kerosene to the arson squad. Avilán was absolutely horrid last season, posting a 5.17 ERA over 23 appearances after being acquired by the Dodgers.

Even more reason to hope that Maeda can go eight innings.

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