Associated Press

Kenta Maeda has been fantastic so far

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When the Los Angeles Dodgers lost Zack Greinke to the Diamondbacks and then saw Brett Anderson and other pitchers go down or recover more slowly than hoped, there was some serious concern about the non-Kershaw portions of their rotation. In preseason previews there was always reference made to their pickup of Kenta Maeda, but it was tinged with uncertainly and in some cases guarded expectations. Indeed, in writeups he was often paired with their pickup of Scott Kazmir, as in “they got Maeda and Kazmir, but there are still questions . . .” Which was fair because, hey, we really didn’t know how he’d do.

So far, however, Maeda has been more than some needed depth added to a depleted rotation. He has been absolutely fantastic. Last night he stymied the rival Giants, allowing only one earned run in seven innings of work. In his three starts he has a 0.47 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 15/4 K/BB ratio across 19 frames. One of those walks was intentional. He’s allowed fourteen hits and only that one earned run. For what it’s worth Zack Greinke has a 6.75 ERA, 1.558 WHIP and 15/5 K/BB ratio in his three starts.

I’m not making any grand pronouncements or conclusions about Maeda or Greinke for that matter (he’ll get better obviously) but so far, in the early going, one of the big questions the Dodgers had — who will step up after Clayton Kershaw? — has been answered in a pretty satisfying way for those who have an interest in the Dodgers winning baseball games.

Also:

Max Scherzer (hamstring) leaves start vs. Mets after just 1 inning

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WASHINGTON — Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer left his start for the Nationals against the New York Mets after just 27 pitches Wednesday night due to a hamstring injury.

He was replaced in the top of the second by Erick Fedde.

Scherzer was not as sharp as usual at the outset Wednesday, going 2-0 counts against each of New York’s initial two batters, walking one and giving up a single to the other.

The Mets eventually went ahead in the first on Dominic Smith‘s sacrifice fly.

Scherzer entered the game with an 0-1 record and 2.84 ERA this season.