David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Johnson, closer extraordinaire. The Dodgers took swept the Reds on the backs of Chris Hatcher and Jim Johnson, and that is an actual sentence about a real life baseball team! It’s troubling when a team expects their bullpen to explode when they don’t have their closer available in a one run game, but Jim Johnson did it! He finished the sweep.
The game was basically very boring, with the only run coming off of a double play hit by Yasmani Grandal (who created 7 outs in only 4 PA’s) in the second inning to score Justin Turner, Anthony DeSclafani was in trouble ALL day, and the Dodgers consistently put baserunners on, but were never able to cash them in.
The positive news, is that Zack Greinke was on the mound, and he’s having one of the best seasons this century, literally. His ERA is down to 1.61, and while he allowed several baserunners to reach, it’s like his control gets better when runs appear to be inevitable. Really though, his control is reminiscent of a prime Greg Maddux and barring some crazy implosion, well, let’s just say that the NL Cy Young isn’t leaving Los Angeles.
In other good news, Chris Hatcher looked pretty good, he was in control for most of the inning, striking out former Dodger Skip Schumaker to start the inning, and while he gave up a long fly ball to Todd Frazier, he pitched to Joey Votto perfectly (4 pitch walk) and got Brandon Phillips to ground out weakly to Jimmy Rollins. He’s still a pitcher with the highest upside of the non-Kenley arms, and since his activation from the DL, he’s mostly showcased that.
Not all is well, as Adrian Gonzalez exited the game early on with a right knee contusion, but he appears to be fine, the move to sub in Scott Van Slyke looked to be precautionary. Unfortunately, Yasiel Puig‘s right hamstring exploded on an infield single against Aroldis Chapman, it didn’t look good (certainly worse than his issues last week), and at this point he probably won’t be playing in games for a awhile (can you say lost season?)
The biggest thing is that the Dodgers retain (at least) their 2.5 game lead on the division, we are counting down to the end of the season, and the magic number is 34.