Maeda was tasked with protecting the lead. He was pitching for the first time since May 29, when he experienced tightness and discomfort around his right hip. An MRI revealed a muscle strain and sent Maeda to the disabled list. He joined a squadron of fellow starting pitchers, a group that included Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill. The list of sidelined starters would soon swell to include rookies Walker Buehler and Dennis Santana.