Dodgers, Gonzalez SQEAK Out A Series Victory

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If nothing else, that was fun, The Dodgers got 3 runs off of not good pitcher David Buchanan courtesy of an Andre Ethier bloop double and a Carl Crawford hotshot single that destroyed Cesar Hernandez putting the team up 3-0 in the first inning, and with Zack Greinke on the hill (sporting the 3rd best ERA+ in history) coming into this game, you had to feel good about this one

WRONG. WRONG. YOU’RE ALL WRONG.

Greinke got allowed Cesar Hernandez to nub out in front of the mount to reach via an infield single in front of the plate. Odubel Herrera hit a single straight to Carl Crawford, and Maikel Franco walked to load the bases. Then Ryan Howard hit a blooper to CF that scored two and then Zack threw an absolute meatball to Domonic Brown that ended up in the right field bleachers.

Not Ideal!

But remember that “not good pitcher David Buchanan” was pitching in this game. Thankfully Greinke adds a lot of relative value with his bat, as he singled to lead off the second. After a weak Rollins fly ball to center field, Howie Kendrick hit a liner that should have been caught, but ended up in right field advancing Greinke to 2nd base. Adrian Gonzalez subsequetly hit an absolute bomb to right field and +1’d Brown’s 3 run dinger with a 3 run shot of his own.

Greinke had a relatively uneventful 2nd inning, setting the Phillies down in order, but none of that matters because in the 3rd inning, on Buchanan’s 63rd pitch, Greinke did this:

Despite Zack’s dinger, his stuff wasn’t right, as he gave up another he was bound to have one of these games at some point considering his run of excellence, but it doesn’t make it any less disappointing.

The most disappointing thing has to be Mike Bolsinger‘s exclusion on the roster. This game could have stabilized with him going 3 or 4 or 5 innings and giving the bullpen a rest, but Joel Peralta continues to have a spot in high leverage situations.

The good news is that the offense showed up pretty consistently the rest of the way, Howie Kendrick doubled in two Dodgers in the 6th inning and came around to score on a Yasmani Grandal sac fly. Grandal’s wRC+ sits at 158 this season which is 3 points higher than Buster Posey‘s wRC+ he is good at the baseballing.

Aside from that, J.P. Howell continued his surprisingly excellent season, lowering his season FIP to 2.41 after his outing today, to go with a 1.11 ERA say what you will about reliever ERA, and that overrates him because he’s allowed lots of inherited runners to score, but any kind of reliability counts with this bullpen.

Everything else was uneventful until the 9th inning in which noted unreliable pitcher, Joel Peralta was brought in to close the game, following Juan Nicasio (who got 2 outs while only using 10 pitches).

At this point, this is what Peralta’s usage should be reduced to this:

After getting the first out, fairly stress free, Peralta allowed Cesar Hernandez to hit a screaming linedrive up the middle, and then allowed a very hard hit ball to Adrian Gonzalez that he couldn’t quite corral, tossing it to Joel Peralta who appeared to hurt his left foot at some point during the play.

Why he was allowed to start the inning? I’LL NEVER KNOW.

Anyways, Kenley Jansen came in for the injured Peralta, fresh off of his dominant performance last night and threw an absolute meatball to Dodger killer Maikel Franco that was almost out to dead center field. Ryan Howard hit a bloop single to left field that the Dodgers were very fortunate didn’t score a run, bringing up Greinke masher Domonic Brown.

Luckily for the team Adrian Gonzalez plays first base and somehow caught a screaming Domonic Brown linedrive that would have scored the tying run and put the winning run in scoring position. Gonzalez then stepped on first base to secure the victory.

This series could have been an easy sweep, the Dodgers are quite fortunate to win a start where Zack Greinke gives up 6 runs, but they started this crucial road trip with a winning series in Philly and will throw out Clayton Kershaw gunning for a historical scoreless streak of his own tomorrow.

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