Sunday, April 24, 2016

2016 Topps Now - Kenta Maeda #35 - Makes History: 1 Earned Run in First 20 IP

What else can be said that already hasn't about Kenta Maeda?

So, instead of words Topps decided to offer another 2016 Topps Now card to highlight his achievements so far. A couple weeks ago they created their first Maeda Topps Now card, and now they have a second.  Check out pics of the front and the reverse of card #35 featuring Kenta making history in this post.  Since 1913 there have been 76 pitchers to start their MLB careers with four straight quality starts, but the Japanese star is the only one to have allowed just a single earned run during that stretch.  Go here to order.  You only have until tomorrow morning to add it to your collection.

Kenta Maeda has been fantastic and last nights start against the Rockies really put an exclamation on that fact.  He stymied Colorado over 6.1 innings.  He gave up just three hits, struck out eight and gave up no runs.  Maeda even flirted with a no-hitter through 5.1 innings.  Per Doug Padilla at ESPN:
“This is the best fastball command [that] I’ve seen him with, whether it be spring training or in the season,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I think early on, he threw a couple of sliders that didn’t have the break that I think he was anticipating. The one thing in Denver, you have to make sure you finish your pitches, and I think he realized it then. After that, the breaking ball had its sharpness, the slider had the sharpness and the fastball command was there all night long.”
The 28 year old starting pitcher is now 3-0 and sports an otherworldly 0.36 ERA. Last night was his 100th win of his professional career.  Per Ken Gurnich at
Via AJ Ellis:  "First time in this environment, first time pitching in Coors Field, first time pitching against the offensive firepower they have over there. Can't say enough of what Kenta was able to do tonight. Beyond impressive."
"Everybody's natural inclination was maybe a slight regression because of the factors of pitching here and his reliance on spin," said Ellis. "But he was able to combat that. He used more changeups, which are easier to command in this environment. The guy knows how to pitch, knows how to win, he understands himself out there which is really great."
At this rate we will no doubt be seeing more Maeda Topps Now cards in the future.

UPDATE: Print run sold was 784 copies.

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