Our long national nightmare is over. The Dodgers won a game. #Blessed.
For the first time since August 2013, the Dodgers came into a baseball game with a four-game losing streak. Zack Greinke made sure the Dodgers wouldn’t drop five straight, as he pitched six solid innings in the Dodgers’ 5-0 win.
I’m not a math major, but Greinke pitching only six innings meant three innings of Dodger bullpen. What could go wrong? A whole lot of nothing apparently, as newly-recalled Yimi Garcia threw two very solid innings and Luis Avilan threw a perfect ninth to keep the Nationals off the board. The Nationals’ lineup is a lot less imposing without Bryce Harper, who was a late scratch with tightness in his knee. But hey, it’s a win.
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Greinke did Greinkeish things all day, scattering six hits and walking one in his six innings of work and striking out six Nationals. The Dodgers seemed to have a good approach against Nationals’ rookie Joe Ross, who came into the game with 47 Ks and only four walks on the season. Ross walked four and only struck out one Dodger on the night, and threw 89 pitches in four 2/3 innings.
Jun 29, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Yasiel Puig energized the home crowd with a booming two run shot in the fourth. It came two batters after an Andre Ethier triple that should have been a double that was almost a TOOTBLAN (the Dodgers won a review!!) to lead off the inning. Ross hung a slider, Puig swung hard, Puig didn’t miss it.
He followed that up in the fifth with a bases-loaded (!) line drive to not-Harper Clint Robinson, who couldn’t make the diving catch and gave the Dodgers a three-run triple.
It was nice to have some breathing room, and the two relievers used tonight looked extremely good. Garcia got a lot of weak contact and Avilan got two groundouts and a strikeout. It definitely doesn’t mean the bullpen is fixed, but it’s a start.
Shout out to Alberto Callaspo tonight, as he made two run-saving plays at third. He gets picked on a lot here, but he made plays that Alex Guerrero probably doesn’t make (Justin Turner does but oh well). He also had two hits hitting second in the lineup, which I laughed about in the preview. Which goes to show I don’t know baseball at all.
For all their recent struggles, things could be a lot worse. The Giants won, so the Dodgers’ lead remains at 2.5 games. It would be nice to beat more winning teams and win on the road more, but as many years have shown, all that matters in the regular season is getting into the playoffs. Once in the playoffs, all bets are off. The Dodgers haven’t had their offense, starters and bullpen all going well since April, but if they get it together in October this four game losing streak won’t matter.
Worth noting: the Dodgers lost on Clippers night and won on Lakers night. Really makes you think.
Also, the Dodgers are undefeated with Callaspo hitting second. Clearly, that’s what’s been missing.