The Dodgers go for a second straight win over the Diamondbacks on Saturday, and with Brock Stewart and Jose De Leon starting the final two games of the series, LA’s rookies have a chance to continue making an impact this season.
Kenta Maeda, though 28 years old and with eight years of professional experience in Japan, technically started the rookie weekend with his win on Friday night. Maeda’s 29 starts lead the staff, and coupled with Julio Urias (14 starts), Ross Stripling (14), Stewart (4) and De Leon (2), the 2016 Dodgers have 63 starts from rookie pitchers.
There have only been two teams in franchise history with more starts from rookie pitchers, both in Brooklyn:
- 1903 (77): Oscar Jones (36), Henry Schmidt (36), Grant Thatcher (4), Rube Vickers (1)
- 1952 (69): Ben Wade (24), Billy Loes (21), Johnny Rutherford (11), Joe Landrum (5), Ken Lehman (3), Joe Black (2), Ray Moore (2), Ron Negray (1)
Those 1903 rookies won 44 games in total, and the 1952 group won 24 as starters. So far in 2016, this group of rookies is 25-19 with a 3.94 ERA, averaging 5⅓ innings with 321 strikeouts and 102 walks in 336 innings.
Stewart makes his fifth start on Saturday. He was victimized by the big inning in each of his first two major league starts — on June 29 in Milwaukee and Aug. 3 in Colorado — allowing innings of five, five, and four runs.
But after allowing 14 runs and five home runs in 46 batters faced in those first two outings, Stewart has improved since, allowing two runs in 13 innings, allowing no home runs in 56 batters faced.
Those three appearances, including two starts, all came at home, with Saturday marking Stewart’s first road start since his Aug. 3 start at Coors Field. He will be on nine days rest when he starts on Saturday, his first game since beating Arizona on Sept. 7, allowing one run in five innings at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers (83-64) at Diamondbacks (62-85)
Time: 5:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA