Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Maeda measures up in Dodger overture


Unknown-37By Jon Weisman

Kenta Maeda looked composed and pitched like a composer, conducting with confidence in his Dodger rooster song, his cockatoo debut, his stork salute, his robin’s reverie, his canon of the condor.

“Not really,” the 27-year-old said when asked if he were nervous. “Maybe a little bit, right before I got on the mound, but while I was on the mound, not really.

In two innings before 13,122 at Camelback Ranch, Maeda retired six batters on 28 pitches, striking out two (Jake Lamb and Brandon Drury).

“I thought I was able to add and subtract with the velocity, and also I was able to command all my pitches well today,” Maeda said through a translator. “It was my first opportunity to be able to pitch in front of the fans, so I wanted to make a good impression.”

Maeda allowed a two-out, first-inning double grounded down the left-field line by Phil Gosselin, who then tried to steal third against a Dodger shift but was caught, catcher to shortstop. Maeda said he isn’t used to the kind of defensive shifts the Dodgers now frequently employ, but didn’t let it fluster him and wasn’t worried about what he had to do defensively

“It was my first time experiencing that, seeing that happen in front of me, so I was a little bit surprised at first,” Maeda said. “I trust that the Dodgers are making the right decision, and my job is to be able to pitch and let the ground balls get to the infielders.”


For an encore, Maeda orchestrated an inning’s worth of pitches in the Dodger bullpen, then put in some running work before greeting the eager, multilingual media throng at the Dodger clubhouse. The Japanese-language reporters would be updating a home audience that tuned in to watch Maeda pitch at 5 a.m.

“If it was myself, I would have been sleeping,” Maeda said with a smile. “I’m sure a lot of people will catch (highlights) on the evening news.”

With that first start behind him, Maeda could already begin to look ahead.

“I want to be able to continue what I did today,” he said, “just make little adjustments so that I can be even better next time around.”

Update: Dave Roberts had this to say after the game about Maeda …

“He was very efficient. There was some swing-and-miss, he made some good pitches. We were thinking about getting him out there again, his pitch count was so low. … So it was good — we’re pretty excited.

“I was looking for that fastball command, (and) I knew he was going to throw some secondary pitches, so just seeing the swings they were taking, the deception there, was great.”


Kenta Maeda set for Dodger debut


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  1. Guess his hand measured up to the ball.

  2. oldbrooklynfan

    Maeda looked good in those two innings. Let’s hope there’s more good to come.

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