Kenta Maeda took the mound for the Dodgers against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night and proceeded to throw his best start of the entire 2017.
He was lights out as he completely shut down the Atlanta Braves offense over seven scoreless innings and a very efficient 94 pitches.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 2, 2017
The line Maeda posted last night was quite remarkable. Seven shutout innings, just two hits and one walk to go along with his six strikeouts as he lowered his earned run average to 3.79.
What is even more remarkable is what he has done over his past seven starts. Since his rotation spot became in jeopardy due to his very poor first two months of 2017, Maeda has posted a 2.09 earned run average with a 1.06 WHIP and a .220 batting average against. All of those are amongst the best in baseball over the last month.
Kenta Maeda has acknowledged he is fighting for his spot in rotation with each start. Over past 7 — 2.09 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, .220 BA against
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) August 2, 2017
With both of their jobs now on the line due to the acquisition of Yu Darvish from the Texas Rangers, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda will have to continue to perform while both Clayton Kershaw and Brandon McCarthy are on the disabled list.
Hyun-Jin Ryu threw seven shutout innings against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday night, lowering his earned run average to 3.83, putting all the pitchers in the Dodgers starting rotation, injured or not, with an earned run average below 4.00. The only player without an earned run average under 4.00 is Yu Darvish.
There is still no word on when Brandon McCarthy and Clayton Kershaw will return so as of now the rotation looks to be Alex Wood, Rich Hill, Yu Darvish, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda. Brock Stewart will start against the Braves on Wednesday night but it would be logical for him to move back to the bullpen after this rotation.