The Dodgers have a new strategy in 2014. Just pitch a no-hitter every game. They should win most of those. Alas tonight there was no no-no, as Greinke allowed a base hit to Todd Frazier in the top of the second inning. However the Dodgers are getting some great starting pitching of late. The Josh Beckett no-hitter on Sunday against the Phillies. Then immediately followed by Hyun-jin Ryu taking a perfect game into the eighth, only to have the perfecto broken up.
Now tonight the Dodgers got yet another masterful pitching performance. This time from Zack Greinke. The Dodger starters are now trying to one-up each other as to who can pitch a better game each time out. It’ll be Clayton Kershaw’s turn tomorrow to pitch another gem.
Greinke was sure dominating. I honestly believe he could win a Cy Young this year. That totally works for me, as I think Kershaw and Greinke can just alternate Cy Youngs every other year.
Greinke’s gem and Ethier’s big night were nearly marred by a freak play causing Carl Crawford to roll his ankle chasing after a Chris Heisey double. Crawford limped off the field as Van Slyke replaced him in left field.
Hanley Ramirez made his return to the Dodger lineup Tuesday evening. After missing four games with a sore calf, he was back at his normal shortstop position batting fourth. Gonzalez was bumped down to fifth in the order. Once again Matt Kemp was not in the lineup. Apparently he is still working out in preparation for his move to left field. Not surpisingly he has not been happy about being benched for five consecutive days.
And that was ok, because the Dodgers have been winning . The back-to-back combo of Dee Gordon, Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig has been very productive. Unfortunately the Dodgers may have lost Crawford for an undetermined amount of time after he rolled his ankle chasing after a hit in the left field corner in the top of the eighth. Scott Van Slyke replaced him in left field. Looks like the Dodgers may have to go back to Kemp (who struck out in a pinch-hit appearance) after all if Crawford is out for long. (x-rays were negative, thankfully).
But all of tonight’s productivity was brought to you by Andre Ethier. He’s the guy everyone complains about. Yet I’ve always loved Ethier. He’s a smooth outfielder, and may not be the same hitter he was years ago, but he can still rake it. Example tonight. Ethier drove in four of the Dodger’s six runs with a home run in the second, and a huge three-run triple in the fourth.
Figgins added an RBI single in the fourth, and Hanley’s run scoring hit plated the sixth run for the Dodgers. it all added up to a 6-3 win for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers are fortunate that they are not getting the Reds at full strength. Remember Joey Votto is on the disabled list with a knee injury.
With a somewhat makeshift lineup the Reds scored a run in the fifth. Lutz doubled and scored on Roger Bernadina’s RBI single. The two other runs came in the eighth, when Chris Heisey doubled, and Devin Mesoraco hit a two-run home run off of Greinke.
Back to Greinke though, he was dominant early despite his steak of allowing two earned runs or less in 22 consecutive outings coming to an end. He allowed three earned runs on eight hits through 7.2 innings. He walked none and whiffed ten.
Mound opponent Alfredo Simon issued four walks in five innings, and picked up the loss. Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his sixteenth save. One night after his four-out save on Monday. Here’s how another good win played out…..Reds 3 8 0 Dodgers 6 8 0 WP-Greinke-8-1 LP-Simon-6-3 SV-Jansen-16 HR-Ethier-3-Mesoraco-6
In the first, Greinke retires the reds in order. Hamilton flies out, Schumaker grounds out, and Mesoraco whiffs.
The Dodgers don’t score in the bottom of the first. Gordon grounds out, and Crawford whiffs. Puig draws a walk. With Hanley at the plate, Pug is thrown out trying to steal. The umpires actually ruled Hanley was interfering with Mesoraco, but the throw beat Puig anyways.
The Dodgers get on the board first in the bottom of the second. Andre Ethier homers over the center field wall. The solo shot is his third, and it give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the second frame.
Greinke has another easy inning in the top of the third. Bernadina grounds, and he whiffs Simon. Hamilton’s bunt out is the third out. Simon retires the Dodgers 123 in the bottom of the third. He gets a whiff of Greinke and the Dodgers lead 1-0 after three innings.
In the top of the fourth, Greinke gets a key double play to get out of the inning. Schumaker singles to center. After Mesoraco whiffs, and Bruce hits into a double play.
The Dodgers blow the game wide open in the bottom of the fourth. After a flustery Simon meltdown ensues. It’s deliciously awesome. Crawford and Puig start the fun with consecutive singles. Hanley flies out to Hamilton and Crawford tags up to third, and slides in just in time, while Gordon goes to second. Although Hamilton’s throw was close.
After a coaching visit to the mound, the Reds decide to intentionally walk Gonzalez to pitch to Ethier. The bases are loaded, and Ethier then triples down the right field line, clearing the bases. The Dodgers take a 4-0 lead! That’s four runs driven in today for Dre. Butera then walks. Chone Figgins then singles through the hole in right, Ethier scores and the Dodgers lead 5-0!
Greinke sacrifices, and Gordon walks and the bases are loaded again. The Reds have to hook Simon, and nin comes Logan Ondrusek to restore order. Finally Crawford grounds out to end the inning. But the Dodgers get a huge four runs to take a 5-0 lead.
The Reds score a run on three hits in the top of the fifth. Frazier whiffs, but Lutz doubles. After a Cozart grounder, Bernadina singles Lutz in to make it a 5-1 game.
Puig’s deep drive sends Bernadina to the wall in the bottom of the fifth. Alas it is just a long out. Gonzo clanks a hit off the top of the wall in right, but it bounces right towards Bruce, and Gonzo is held to the world’s longest single. Ethier’s ground out ends the frame. The score is 5-1 Dodgers after five frames. Greinke throws another 123 inning in the top of the sixth. He’s just on cruise control now.
The Reds threaten in the top of the seventh, but Greinke gets out of it. Burce singles. Frazier whiffs, but Lutz singles Bruce to second. But Greinke gets Zocart to ground into a force, and Bernadina whiffs.
The Dodgers plate an additional run in the bottom of the seventh, off of Cincy pitcher Sean Marshall. Craword with a one-out walk, Puig is hit by a pitch, and then Hanley’s RBI single scores Crawford to give the Dodgers a 6-1 lead.
The Dodgers lose Crawford in the eighth. Chris Heisey doubles to left, and Crawford rolls his ankle chasing it down in the corner. It looked like he broke it. It didn’t look good. He hobbles off the field, and Scott Van Slyke replaces him in left.
Hamilton grounds out and Schumaker whiffs. But Mesoraco homers, and the Dodgers lead is cut to 6-3. The Dodgers hook Greinke after 105 pitches. J.P. Howell whiffs Bruce looking and the inning is over.
In the bottom of the eighth, Figgins’ two-out double brings up Howell’s spot. Matt Kemp finally makes an appearance as a pinch-hitter. Unsurprisingly he whiffs.
Move to the top of the ninth. Enter Kenley Jansen for another save. Jansen whiffs Frazier for the first out. Jansen whiffs Lutz, and gets Cozart to pop out to Ethier. The Dodgers win by a final score of 6-3!
Well I guess it’s time I stop complaining about the club now. theyve won three in a row, and six of their last eight. The Dodgers are now in second place in the NL West with a 29-24 record. Now I will shift my complaining to individual pefrormances, or injuries. Like for instance Wilson’s horrendous pitching. Hey I have to find something to complain about.
But I won’t complain much anymore. Things are starting to come together. That’s what happens when the starters start going deeper into games. Crawford’s ankle sprain may give the Dodgers the perfect opportunity to call up Joc Pederson. Just saying is all.
Good game tonight! Greinke picks up his NL leading eighth win. Wednesday night it will be Clayton Kershaw’s turn to toss a gem. he’ll draw Homer Bailey as the Reds try to avoid the sweep.
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