Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Minnesota Twins: 2020 World Series Simulation

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 26: Jorge Polanco #11 of the Minnesota Twins looks on against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 26, 2017 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California The Dodgers defeated the Twins 6-5. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 26: Jorge Polanco #11 of the Minnesota Twins looks on against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 26, 2017 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California The Dodgers defeated the Twins 6-5. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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Former Los Angeles Dodgers SP Kenta Maeda (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Former Los Angeles Dodgers SP Kenta Maeda (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Former Los Angeles Dodgers, current Minnesota Twins SP Kenta Maeda was all aces.

Minnesota’s Game 3 win gave the Twins a decided upper hand. They had Maeda ready for the fourth game start, while the Dodgers – having burned through Kershaw, Buehler, and Price, had to count on Ross Stripling.

The Dodger right-hander had already shown post-season form. He beat Arizona in the clinching fourth game of the NLDS. And in the fourth game of the NLCS Stripling pitched well in relief of Alex Wood, holding the Reds in check in a game the Dodgers eventually came back to win.

The veteran Maeda has to that point been the questionable performer. His three post-season starts lasted a total of only 13 and two-thirds innings and resulted in an 0-1 record with a 7.88 ERA.

Given one more chance, however, Maeda finally pitched like the veteran he is. He retired nine of the first 10 Dodgers he faced, allowing only a second-inning walk to Justin Turner, and did not allow a base hit until Corey Seager opened the fourth by dropping a parachute ball into short center.

That gave the Twins offense latitude to see what they could do with Stripling. In the second inning, Sano shot a one-out single to center and scored on Polanco’s two-out triple into the right-field corner.

Two innings later Sano tripled, Kepler walked, and Turner’s bad throw on a Polanco ground ball enabled Sano to score. Stripling whiffed Rosario and stared in at Maeda with a chance to escape further damage, but the Twins pitcher slapped a base hit over second that scored Kepler and made it 3-0.

The way Maeda was pitching, all the rest amounted to piling on. Stripling left for a pinch hitter after five, and Minnesota added three more runs in the seventh against Blake Treinen. Garver’s double pushed one of those runs across, and Kepler’s base hit counted the other two.

Up 6-0 entering the eighth and working on a two-hitter, the only remaining question was whether Maeda could finish what he started. He could. Following Turner’s single starting the seventh Maeda retired the last nine batters he faced with nothing more consequential than a lazy fly ball off Turner’s bat to Buxton in center that ended the game.

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Minnesota          010    200    300     — 6 11  0

Los Angeles        000    000    000    — 0    2  1

W: Maeda. L. Stripling.