I’d like to say that a win is a win is a win, that as long as the Dodgers get the W, none of the rest of it matters. In some sense, that’s true, I guess. That is the most important thing. But I can’t really pretend that’s all I’m taking from tonight’s 8-5 victory. The Diamondbacks, who were the only team in baseball with nine losses, are now the only team in baseball with 10 losses. They’re 4-10. They’re already five games out. They have the worst run differential in baseball.
They’re not the worst team in baseball, of course, (I… think?) and when all is said and done, I don’t think they’re even the worst team in the NL West. But with Patrick Corbin injured in spring, they entered the year in a hole, and now they’re in an even bigger hole. I’d like to say that doesn’t give me a small jolt of extra joy after the reaction to the pool thing, and Kevin Towers basically saying that he wished his pitchers had thrown at Dodgers, and all their talk about “grit,” and Kirk Gibson dumping on A.J. Ellis being sent to Australia on the goodwill tour, but you know what? It does. That probably makes me a bad person. Or maybe just a baseball fan who inexplicably supports one team over another team. Either way.
Anyway, enough about them. Zack Greinke was outstanding again, striking out eight without a walk for the second game in a row. On the season, Greinke’s K/BB is 21/2, which is of course outstanding. But, as he’s done in each of his starts — and twice in his second — Greinke made one mistake, allowing A.J. Pollock to take him deep in the fifth inning. But Pollock’s dinger was a solo shot, and — although he scattered eight hits — that’s what happens when you never walk anyone, ever. Solo homers aren’t the worst thing in the world. In Greinke’s three starts, he’s gone on a tour of most of the division, beating the Giants, Padres, and Diamondbacks. It’s really only because of the presence of Clayton Kershaw that Greinke doesn’t get talked about in the same way as the elite pitchers in the game. That’s unfortunate: he’s elite.
Also looking great: Adrian Gonzalez! Gonzalez hit his fourth homer of the year, a two-run shot in the third off of Wade Miley, and added a walk and a single. Yasiel Puig also got on three times (two hits and a walk), as did Drew Butera (!!) on the same combination, while Juan Uribe added three hits of his own, including a ninth-inning ball off the top of the wall that just barely missed going out. Matt Kemp went 0-4, but we’re only going to talk about the good things tonight.
But really, for all the good that happened: this game dragged. After the Dodgers went up 5-0 in the top of the fourth, it was never in doubt, but the teams combined to use 12 pitchers. Even a good thing like Chris Withrow striking out the side in his lone inning of work seemed to take forever, because it took 24 pitches. Overall, this one went well over three-and-a-half hours — no thanks, it should be added, to Brandon League, who came in with a six-run lead in the ninth and managed to mess things up so badly, giving up two hits, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch, that Kenley Jansen actually had to come in and clean things up for the final out. When you wonder, if you ever do, if anything is wrong with Jansen, note that this was his MLB-leading eighth game of the season already. Thanks, Brandon!