Whenever the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers hook up, it’s appointment baseball viewing. The Dodgers opened a nice 10-game homestand with a 2-1 win over the Cubs and a pitcher making his big league debut on Monday night.
The Dodgers move to a formidable 42-35 on the year, and are starting to feel very formidable.
The Dodgers hit June home runs number 47 and 48 on Monday night. Kikè Hernandez hit his 13th of the season – which is impressive in it’s own right. Chris Taylor pinch-hit in the bottom of the eighth inning and homered to dead center to represent both of the Dodgers home runs via the home run. This is a downright scary lineup right now. On nights where you avoid the teeth of Joc Pederson, Matt Kemp, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Max Muncy, and Yasiel Puig; there are still guys in the lineup that can hurt you with power. Teams must be shaking their heads right now when trying to beat these guys. You hold the Dodgers to two runs in their home park when they’re red-hot, and you come up short.
Maeda was beyond awesome. In seven innings, he didn’t allow a run and struck out nine Cubs hitters.
Maeda is 5-4 on the year with a 3.44 ERA. He also has 80 strikeouts in 68 innings pitched. He’s a really impressive arm to be able to run out there on a night when you can’t go to a Kershaw, Stripling, Hill, Wood, or Buehler. The Dodgers have rotation depth right now; which is one of the things making them as scary as anyone in the National League once again. Maeda’s impressive start shows he’s feeling well physically, which bodes really well for Los Angeles moving forward.
The Dodgers picked up a game on the Arizona Diamondbacks who lost in Miami. Cody Bellinger went 1 for 3 with a double, raising his average to .240 on the year. His slugging percentage of .491 is slowly creeping into the .500s where it needs to be. Justin Turner added two hits on a night where the Dodgers had just five total. Kenley Jansen converted his 19th straight save despite giving up a run in the ninth inning.