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Dodgers need strong start from Kenta Maeda in Coors finale

Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies
Kenta Maeda pitched scoreless ball into the seventh inning on April 23 in Denver.
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Dodgers are in desperate need of some length out of starting pitcher Kenta Maeda in their series finale against the Rockies on Thursday night at Coors Field.

After Bud Norris left his Sunday start after just two batters with lat tightness, the Dodgers saw Brandon McCarthy walk a career-high five batters while lasting just three innings on Tuesday, then saw Brock Stewart allow nine runs, including four home runs in his four innings on Wednesday.

On the season, when Dodgers starters throw a quality start — pitching at least six innings while allowing no more than three earned run — the club is 36-10 (.783).

As you might expect, 14 of those quality starts came from Clayton Kershaw, all Dodgers wins. The club is 22-10 (.688) when the rest of the staff throws a quality start, much more in line with the major league mark this season of 1,046-504 (.675).

When Kershaw was still in the rotation, the rest of the staff threw 22 quality starts in 61 opportunities, 36.1 percent of the time. Since Kershaw’s last start, on June 26, the Dodgers’ staff has 10 quality starts in 30 games (33.3 percent).

Since Kershaw’s last start, Dodgers starting pitchers have a 4.80 ERA while averaging exactly five innings per start. After the last three games, the Dodgers would kill for a five-inning start on Thursday night.

In the 22-year history of Coors Field, when the Dodgers get a quality start they are 48-8 (.857). One of those came on April 23 this season, when Maeda struck out eight Rockies and pitched into the seventh inning without allowing a run.

In two starts against the Rockies this season, Maeda has allowed one run in 13 innings, with 17 strikeouts and two walks.

Tyler Chatwood took the loss in that April 23 game, allowing three runs in four innings, and he starts on Thursday night for Colorado.

So far in this series the Dodgers have scored all of two runs on eight hits in 12 innings against starters Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson, with those two combining for 12 strikeouts and four walks.

Game info

Time: 5:40 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA