Maeda’s Performance + Kiké’s Catch = Sweep


Written by:

Kenta Maeda pitched five innings of one-run ball and helped himself with a two-run as the Dodgers beat the Reds 8-7. The Reds entered the seventh inning trailing the Dodgers 8-2 but rallied until they were down 7-8 and threatening big time. Kiké Hernández, however, got the Dodgers out of what could have been a disastrous eighth inning leading catch that robbed Joey Votto of extra bases and at least one RBI.

 Dodgers 8  10 
 Reds 7 

The Reds, who trailed 8-2 when the seventh began, rallied late in the game to come within one run of Los Angeles. Adam Duvall hit a solo home run in the sixth that made it 8-2, then Scooter Gennett hit a three-run home run in the seventh that made it 8-5. Eugenio Suarez hit a solo home run in the eighth inning that made it 8-6 and Billy Hamilton followed that with an RBI double that made it 8-7.  Gennett then walked and the Reds had runners on first and second with two outs.

This situation right here is where our friend Kiké Hernández comes in. Joey Votto hit a fly ball to deep left-center field. It didn’t take long to see that the ball would not go over the wall, but it looked like extra bases for sure. Hernández, however, never gave up and chased that ball the whole way. He then jumped and caught it before crashing into the wall. I’m not sure who liked it more, Kiké, Dodgers play-by-play announcer Joe Davis, Pedro Báez, or the fans. No matter who liked it more, you Must C: Hernández’s game-saving catch.

“Hernandez makes the play of the year going up against the wall with [two on] and two outs, which definitely would have given us the lead with the chance to close it out with [Raisel Iglesias],” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “So hats off to the Dodgers. They really won the game. It wasn’t like we really gave it to them. They went out and won it.”

Kenta Maeda pitched much better than he did in his last start when he allowed two earned runs over four innings against the Brewers on June 4. On Sunday afternoon, he allowed only one run over five innings and even helped himself with a two-run double. Maeda needed only 78 pitches to throw the five innings but Dave Roberts felt that it would be best for Maeda if he only pitched five innings.

Maeda’s double started the Dodgers scoring in the top of the second inning, but it was not the last. After Kenta doubled in two runs, Joc Pederson hit a singled that allowed Maeda to score. The Dodgers tacked on more runs in the third inning when Logan Forsythe contributed with his bat. Cody Bellinger doubled to with one out, then with two outs, Forsythe came to the plate. He got a hanging curveball and drilled it over the wall in left field, 442 feet according to Statcast. It was his longest home run since 2015 and it gave the Dodgers a 5-0 lead.

The Dodgers offense took a break for two innings but returned in the sixth. The Dodgers put runners on first and second with two outs and Justin Turner came to the plate. Turner was sitting fastball with a full count and that is exactly what he got. He drove it over the wall in left field and extended the Dodgers lead to 8-1.

The Reds began their comeback attempt starting in the bottom of the sixth inning when Duvall homered making it 8-2. Cincinnati then took advantage of a three-run homer in the seventh inning to make it an 8-5 game. All of the sudden, the Dodgers’ comfortable 8-2 lead was gone. The Reds, however, had intentions of continuing. Suarez hit a solo home run and the fans in Cincinnati began to believe that they might see a win for a change as the Reds trailed by only two runs. Hamilton made it an even closer game with an RBI double later in the inning that gave the Reds 7 runs and the Dodgers 8.

Hernández, however, really wanted to be the player of the game on Father’s day again. Last year, he hit a go-ahead solo home run at Dodger Stadium in the eighth inning on Father’s day. This time, he made headlines with his glove. Joey Votto lifted a fly ball to left field and by now you already know what happened. Hernández made a leaping catch that saved the game. Kenley Jansen struck out two of the three batters he faced in a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn the save. He has 50 strikeouts and no walks so far this year.

Keys To The Game:

Attacking The Zone:

On Saturday, Dave Roberts said that he wanted to see Kenta Maeda attacking the zone when he started on Sunday. That is what he did against the Reds. He struck out only five batters but the reason is that his pitches were too good for the opponents not to hit. Unluckily for them, the only managed to hit them at fielders, who eagerly threw them out.

Wasted Opportunity:

The Reds had Kenta Maeda doing a high-wire act in the fourth inning. They Reds loaded the bases, then Maeda hit Scott Schebler with a pitch. That brought one run home and it looked lie the Reds would get more. After Rick Honeycutt calmed down his pitcher, Eugenio Suarez lined a ball into right field and it looked like it would drop in for a single. Yasiel Puig, however, had other plans. He covered 20 feet in 2.5 seconds to make a diving catch. The runners held were they were and it was a huge out and a four-star catch.

“My catch was nothing. Kiké’s catch was the best,” said Puig. “Anybody can make my catch. Kiké’s catch, I like that one more. My catch, I don’t get any hits, so I have to do something to help my team.”

Hernández’s Catch:

Do I really need to write about this one again? No really but I’ll do it anyways. Kiké Hernández saved the game for the Dodgers in the eighth inning with his spectacular leaping catch.

Up Next:

Clayton Kershaw will get the start for the Dodgers and Zack Wheeler will start for the Mets in the curtain raiser of the three-game series between the two clubs at Dodger Stadium. Kershaw, who will be pitching on an extra day of rest, has a record of 8-1 against the Mets with an ERA of 1.49. The game will start at 7:10 pm PT and be televised on SportsNet LA.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: