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Dodgers 9, Cardinals 1: Zack Greinke’s Dominance Softens Blow of Best/Worst Inning

More important things happened later in the game, but this is how today’s rout of the Cardinals began:


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The three defensive miscues shown resulted in the Dodgers pushing a run across in the bottom of the first inning. That run was fluky, but the Dodgers’ six runs in the second were not. Cardinal starter Lance Lynn appeared to be dealing with a blister, but he remained in the game as he threw 45 pitches in the inning. Justin Turner, A.J. Ellis, Dee Gordon, and Andre Ethier all hit doubles (Gordon’s shot would have been a sure triple had it not bounced over the fence). The inning could have been even more prolific, but Gordon was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second on a wild pitch. The play was reviewed to check if Lynn was blocking the plate, but the original call was upheld since Lynn was in the process of catching the ball.

Despite the runs, the second inning was also painful for the Dodgers, both literally and figuratively. Turner limped into second base on his double and was immediately removed for pinch-runner Miguel Rojas. The Dodgers later announced that Turner strained his left hamstring on the play, so he’s probably out for awhile. Hanley Ramirez was running gingerly as he scored later in the inning, and was removed from the game after the play. Hanley was added to the lineup at the last second due to his shoulder injury, but according to the Fox broadcast he was dealing with cramping in his legs earlier in the game. There hasn’t been any word on the severity of whatever injury he may have sustained (UPDATE: Following the game, Dylan Hernandez reported that Hanley was removed due to “tightness” in his calf).

The players weren’t the only casualties:

Bundy will now sit out of the next seven games before being sent to the disabled list.

The offense was relatively quiet for the rest of the game, though Gordon added another double (which could have been a triple if Greinke wasn’t running in front of him) and an infield single. The Dodgers didn’t score again until the eighth, capitalizing on more defensive issues to add a couple more runs. Overall, the Cardinal bullpen did an excellent job after Lynn’s early departure.

Perhaps lost among the offense and the injuries is how dominant Zack Greinke was today. He entered the game in a bit of a slump of consecutive ineffective outings, but he allowed just one run in seven innings this afternoon while striking out ten batters and not walking any. All of Greinke’s pitches were working this afternoon, but his slider and changeup were a great 1-2 offspeed punch. They run in opposite directions, and he was using both against either handedness of batter with nearly equal effectiveness. It was really impressive.

The dominance was clear early as Greinke struck out the side in the first inning. The only run came on a Matt Carpenter solo home run in the third. Greinke’s only other trouble was in the fifth inning, when Jon Jay and Daniel Descalso both singled (half of Greinke’s hits allowed) and were bunted into scoring position. Greinke then struck out Matt Carpenter on an excellent slider to end the threat.

Even Paul Maholm got into the act, striking out the first two batters he faced. Chris Perez labored through the ninth inning, walking two batters and hitting one.

Oh, and there’s this:

It’s hard to get much better than that.


About

Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area and remains a Dodger fan despite currently residing in Salem, MA. As an engineer, he’s fascinated by the math and science behind the game of baseball, which probably explains a lot. He started “Blog To The Score” in late 2013 to dig deeper into the numbers behind the Dodgers. In its brief lifespan, it gained attention from local and national media. You can find him spending too much time in the comments section or on Twitter.