KENTA MAEDA ALERT
I’m way too excited for this game and I have four hours of sleep in me, so this should be fun.
First through Third Innings
Your first at-bat against Maeda is a flyout to right. He’s basically going to be the greatest pitcher we’ve ever seen. #HerdHere
I have to say, Maeda’s wind-up is going to be fun this year. Add a couple shimmies and Johnny Cueto comes to mind. By the way, he gave up a double to left, so he’s a bust, totally. Grandal bails him out by throwing out the runner as he tries to swipe third.
We head to the bottom half of the inning tied at zero.
Howie starts the Dodgers’ half with a single to left! Hahaha, Diamondbacks gave up too much for Shelby Miller. My point is hammered home after Ethier follows suit with his own single to right! Puig steps to the plate in quite the situation. Puig flies to right center, scoring Kendrick!
The Diamondbacks will not win a game this season. MY COLUMN.
Anywho, Grandal grounds in to a double play and we head to the second with the good guys leading by one.
Maeda continues to look pretty sharp as the Diamondbacks are struggling to make solid contact against him. To end the inning (and, in all likelihood, his spring debut), Grandal does a great job framing an offseason pitch to get Brandon Drury looking. That was a fun couple of innings.
One thing I’ve noticed with this team thus far is the tendency to stretch out whatever they possibly can. Now, this might be simply taking advantage of defenses still getting used to each other, but aggressiveness on the basepaths will be a welcomed changed under the Dave Roberts regime.
A Corey Brown single doubles the Dodgers’ lead as we head to the third. Good guys, 2, snakes 0.
Chris Hatcher in for Maeda, who did this in those two innings:
Hatcher was not nearly as sharp as Maeda, however. He walked Kyle Jensen, gave up a double to Jason Bourgeios, threw the ball past second on a pickoff attempt and a sac fly ties the game. Not ideal. The inning ends, but the damage was done. Game tied at two apiece.
Nothing going in the Dodgers’ half of the inning as they go down in order.
Luis Avilan comes in for Hatcher, who threw just the one inning. His first out comes on a strikeout and second comes on a fly-out to Ethier, but Rickie Weeks, Jr. drove a flyball to right, off the ball on the fly. Puig misplayed it off the wall and Weeks winds up at third with a standup triple, depending on the scoring. No harms comes of it, fortunately, as Avilan gets his next batter to strike out.
The Dodgers don’t get anything going in their half of the inning and we head to the fourth.
Fourth Through Sixth Innings
Nothing going for either team. I blinked and the inning ended, basically.
(See Inning, Fourth)
JOSE DE LEON ALERT
Welp. His first pitch throw gets roped into left field. Nick Ahmed hustles to second for a sliding double. He recovers well, though, as he strikes out the next batter he faces quite handily.
Pickoff throws have been a problem for the Dodgers’ pitchers today. De Leon throws it into centerfield and Ahmed winds up at third. Still, two outs and a runner on third.
No harm done! He strikes out the side and is almost definitely heading to the Hall of Fame!
Trayce Thompson starts the Dodgers’ half of the inning with a double! Sure, we’re used to seeing his brother hit triples, but you get what you can. He would be driven in after a double play sends him to third and Alex Hassan doubles. Rob Sedegin follows Hassan with a bomb to left and the Dodgers are the greatest team ever to play in a competitive anything! Dodgers lead, 5-2.
Charlie Culberson continues his MVP/presidential campaign with a run-scoring double! Zarraga scores all the way from first and was — err… Laboring into home plate.
Corey Brown grounds to short and the inning is over. The Dodgers do score four in their half and lead 6-2.
MORE DE LEON ALERT.
De Leon starts the inning with a well-hit single to left, but fans his next batter. I really do like his release. The next batter he faces grounds into an inning-ending double play and I just purchased a De Leon jersey. Wait. What?
Here’s where we stand heading to the seventh inning…
Do your thing, Frenchie.
In the Dodgers’ half of the inning, they’d work the bases loaded with one out, but a dribbler back to the pitcher would end the inning on a double play. /fart noise.
Chris Anderson comes in to pitch for De Leon, who has to go write his Hall of Fame speech. Anderson does well for himself, who gave up a single to Joaquin Arias, but settled down afterward to get out of the inning unscathed.
In the Dodgers’ half, “Babe” Rob Sedegin homers to center, his second of the day! They lead 7-2. Nothing comes of the rest of the inning and we head to the ninth.
Anderson remains in for his second inning of duty. He puts down the Diamonbacks in order and the good guys win!
The pitchers I was most interested in (Maeda and De Leon) watching today threw very well. Add to that the timely hitting, as well as agressiveness on the basepaths and this is the kind of baseball that will both entertain and produce wins consistently when real games start. It’s still incredibly early, but so far, the games this spring haven’t left much to be desired.