in

Dodgers Take Series Opener Behind Stellar Maeda



Monday evening the Dodgers welcomed the Chicago Cubs to town for a 4-game series that would pit last year’s NLCS rivals against each other for the 7th time in the last 10 games.  They were quickly greeted with a Kenta Maeda that was on top of his game.  He would collect 9 strikeouts over the course of 7 innings while spreading out just 3 hits.  Perhaps the most impressive feat for him was his efficiency; he managed to leave the game with just 84 pitches and pitch through 7 complete innings for just the 2nd time this season.

Offensively the team wasn’t nearly as crisp, offering Maeda just 1 run of support despite loading the bases in the bottom of the 1st and quickly racking up the pitch count in Duane Underwood Jr.’s major league debut.

But in true 2018 fashion, the team proved they would once again ride the long ball.  Kike Hernandez opened up the scoring in the 2nd with a long drive into the left field bleachers for his 13th home run of the season – and possibly his 2nd using Chase Utley’s bat?

Alexander would come in to replace Maeda in the 8th with the Dodgers hanging on to a slim 1 – 0 lead.  After allowing consecutive base hits to Happ and Contreras, Alexander grounded Albert Almora Jr. into an inning-ending double play – effectively quashing a huge scoring opportunity for the Cubs.

With the momentum on their side, Chris Taylor smashed a pinch-hit solo shot in the bottom of the 8th off Cubs’ southpaw Justin Wilson – a run that would prove to be the key in the game with Kenley Jansen coming in for the save.

The Cubs were determined to not go down without a fight.  Against the Dodgers’ closer, who had allowed just 2 ERs over his last 27 appearances, they mounted a small rally after singles from Zobrist and Rizzo and deep sacrifice fly from the scorching hot Javier Baez.  Kenley would ultimately get Schwarber to ground out, sealing the 2 – 1 series-opening victory and his 20th save of the season.

Analysis

The Dodgers remain scorching hot in the Los Angeles summer, with an MLB best 16 and 5 record in the month of June.

Tomorrow we should expect another pitcher’s duel, with Dodgers’ ace Ross Stipling taking the hill against the Cubs’ Jon Lester.

[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/all-star-voting-update-the-dodgers-matt-kemp-moves-into-second-place-aj1214/2018/06/25/”]All-Star Voting Update: The Dodgers’ Matt Kemp Moves Into Second Place[/button]

Written by Isaac Castro

Born and raised in Southern California, his earliest Dodgers' memories are watching the games from his Grandmother's living room in Oxnard, CA and packing in on Friday nights with his family of 7 to Chavez Ravine. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Economics, and still resides in enemy territory. He plans on naming his first born after Chase Utley.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading…

0