Brian Wilson

Kenta Maeda might be the Dodgers' X factor out of the bullpen

Kenta Maeda might be the Dodgers' X factor out of the bullpen

Standing in a puddle of champagne and beer as the Dodgers celebrated their passage to the National League Championship Series, Kenta Maeda was asked for this thoughts on how Yu Darvish had pitched.

The question was basically a veiled invitation to praise his countryman, who went five strong innings Monday as the Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Maeda passed. He didn’t feel worthy of offering an opinion on a pitcher of Darvish’s stature.

“It’s not really my place to say,” he said politely, speaking in Japanese.

Maeda offered an equally modest response when a Japanese reporter congratulated him on his own contribution in Games 2 and 3...

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