Greinke Versus Kennedy For Game Two
By Scott Andes
Sometimes Baseball stinks. It’s a lot like life. So the Dodgers lost last night to San Diego in a four hour and twelve minute 12-inning marathon, Hanley is hurt again, the offense is pathetic as usual, and the Giants are back to winning. Gee who could have seen any of this coming? So now the Dodger’s lead in the NL West continues to dwindle. It’s down to 3.5 games and evaporating fast. With three games coming up against the Nationals, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers were right back in second place by next week. Don’t say I didn’t warn you all. (You can tell I’m aggravated can’t you?)
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Well, at least the game didn’t end with Kevin Correia walking in the winning run. The bases were loaded, so it could have happened. The Dodgers had gotten a force out at the plate. Even though the Dodgers couldn’t double up Seth Smith who runs like molasses in January, or like Adrian Gonzalez. They were so close to getting out of it, so the offense could go another ten plus innings without scoring. He just gave up a clean single to right. Silver linings everybody.
*Update*- Looks like Hanley is back in the lineup. Here’s the revised batting order.
Dodgers Updated Lineup @ San Diego
Zack Greinke-13-8 vs. Ian Kennedy-10-11
But don’t blame the bullpen or the pitching staff for the loss last night. Dan Haren pitched extremely well. He only allowed one earned run over six innings. The unearned run was because Dee Gordon threw an easy double play ball into left field.
The bullpen threw six scoreless frames before Correia had to be used. Yeah I agree Don Mattingly could have used the bullpen more efficiently, but that’s not why the Dodgers lost. They lost because they couldn’t score.
I don’t understand why so many people keep giving the offense a pass, but berate the pitching staff. It’s not the pitching. When you go 1-48 when trailing in the seventh inning or later, that’s because the offense isn’t getting the job done.
San Diego is one of the worst hitting clubs in the major leagues, but even they will score a single run at some point late in a ball game. Even the worst hitting team in the majors will score. But not the Dodgers….noooooooo. They’ll go 20 consecutive innings without scoring.
These guys are talented ball players perfectly capable of scoring runs late in games. It’s not bad luck. I could accept this theory over a few games, or a few weeks. Not over the entire season. Remember last season when the club could come from behind in any game, from any deficit? Not this year.
So if it’s not luck, or lack of talent, it means it’s some kind of mental block. Baseball is a mental game too, and if you believe that you are defeated before the game is over, you will be. If you don’t change your plate approaches, you will be. If you swing for the fences every time up, instead of focusing on making contact, then you will be defeated.
So with all that out of the way and off my chest, let’s discuss tonight’s second game of the series. The Dodgers will give the ball to Zack Greinke. The feathered right hander is 1-0 this year against San Diego.
Hopefully Greinke’s elbow feels just fine tonight. He did win his last start. Greinke has never lost to San Diego in his life. He is 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA in six starts versus the Padres. At Petco Park he is 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA in four starts. Overall he is 13-8 with a 2.79 ERA in 26 starts this season. He has whiffed 174 and walked just 36, giving him a 5-1 strikeout to walk ratio.
The Padres are batting just .190 (12 for 63) with one home run against Greinke. The right hander has limited San Diego to a .572 OPS against. Of course the evil Seth Smith is batting .400 (6 for 15) with the only home run against Greinke.
San Diego will counter with right hander Ian Kennedy. The 29-year old has faced the Dodgers four times this season. He’s lost twice and gotten two no-decisions. The Dodgers just recently beat him back on August 19, when he allowed five earned runs on seven hits in five innings pitched. Despite that, Kennedy is still a good pitcher. He’s posted a 10-11 record with a 3.75 ERA in 27 starts. He’s whiffed 174 and walked 57 in 163 innings. He can still miss bats. His whiff per nine rate is 9.6.
Zack Greinke’s face-Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Against the Dodgers Kennedy is 5-6 with a 4.27 ERA in 15 starts. The Dodgers are hitting .232 (55 for 237) with six home runs against Kennedy. Andre Ethier is batting .324 with two home runs, and Carl Crawford is slugging .348 off of Kennedy.
So Yasiel Puig is mired in a nasty 0 for 19 slump. But he has to play. At some point he’ll come out of it. Hanley’s injury last night was ruled as a tight quad, or stiff leg. I don’t know if he’ll play tonight, but I can’t stand anymore of Miguel Rojas’s terrible hitting. You know people see a slick fielder and get hypnotized by it. His terrible hitting negates any runs he saves defensively. The guy is hitting .197. But of course I’m sure he’ll be in the starting lineup again. The Dodgers are obsessed with him. Hard to imagine being obsessed with a guy who can’t hit above the Mendoza line, but hey this is the Dodgers here. Weird things fascinate them.
Leave it to the Dodgers to put out the worst possible lineup in a game they need to win. Hanley is not in the starting lineup after all, and we’re right back to the no-hitting Rojas. Hanley is back on the lineup. Oh and look Drew Butera behind the plate. That way ensuring that the last two spots in the lineup are automatic outs. Sweet.
Oh and if you want to see what the chorus line from last night looked like, check it out below. See you after the game, or on the flip side.
Game Time-5:40 PM