The Dodgers ideally need some length out of Kenta Maeda on Saturday evening against the Diamondbacks, but what they really need are effective innings from the right-hander, no matter how long he is in the game.
After watching an nine-run eighth inning on Friday night, the natural reaction is that the bullpen needs a night off, but these Dodgers have a way of challenging our notions.
In reality, the club was off on Thursday, and the bulk of the bullpen should still be available on Saturday — outside of Pedro Baez and maybe Josh Fields or Sergio Romo, depending on how they feel today.
Maeda has allowed 11 runs in 14 innings this season, and has yet to last past five innings in any of his three starts. He last pitched in the sixth inning in a start last Sept. 11. Counting the playoffs, he has gone 10 straight starts without reaching the sixth inning.
Dodgers starting pitchers not named Clayton Kershaw are averaging just 4.82 innings per start this season. While that number certainly needs to improve, it is pretty clear that manager Dave Roberts has a quick hook by design.
Dodgers starters when facing batters a third time through the order have allowed the opposition to hit .381/.420/.635, the highest OPS in the National League by 104 points (Colorado is second-worst). But the Dodgers have put themselves in that position the third-fewest plate appearance in the NL, and even then 32 of the 69 PA have come against Kershaw.
Dodgers relievers allow batters to hit .190/.262/.273 their first time through the order, best in the league.
Maeda in his first two times through the batting order has allowed the opposition to hit .205/.269/.337 in his career. After those first two trips through the order, batters are hitting .350/.393/.504.
This year, batters are 3-for-6 with a sacrifice fly against Maeda in those situations.
Maeda is on six days rest on Saturday. In his career he has a 3.57 ERA in 19 starts with five or more days rest, and 3.96 with four days rest.
Time: 5:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA