GreinkeWide

Cardinals 4, Dodgers 2: Greinke Struggles, Puig Hurt, Another Frustrating Loss

The Dodgers are starting the second half of the season in a continuously frustrating pattern. Again struggling with runners in scoring position (1-for-5 today), they dropped the second game against the Cardinals by a score of 4-2.

The day did not start well for Dodger starter Zack Greinke, who is usually so dependable. He walked lead-off batter Matt Carpenter after getting ahead of him 0-2. Kolten Wong reached on a Dee Gordon throwing error. Matt Holliday drove in two runs with a single, then Matt Adams pulled a two run homer down the right field line. Four batters, four runs, no outs. Moments like this can serve to remind us just how impressive Greinke’s long streak of allowing two runs or fewer was. It could have been broken at any time in an instant, just like what happened today.

Greinke didn’t allow any runs after the terrible start to the game, but he didn’t look quite like himself through the rest of his 5-2/3 innings of work. His control has been so good this season (22 unintentional walks in 118-2/3 innings before today), but he walked five today. He only struck out three. Greinke’s FIP this season was 2.92 before this start. His FIP for the game was 7.02, raising his full-season value to 3.11. It wasn’t a complete disaster, but it wasn’t pretty. If he wasn’t such a good fielder, it would have been even worse.

The best part of Greinke’s start was this play, which happened on the last pitch of his outing:


GIF Link

Greinke threw a 58mph eephus to the pitcher in an obvious bunt situation. The pitcher, not knowing how to square up the perfectly placed eephus pitch, popped it up. Greinke played it halfway, so the batters didn’t know if they could advance. He caught the ball and doubled off the runner at second. As minor as it was, it has to be my favorite play of the year.

Unfortunately, that play was pretty much the best thing to happen for the Dodgers today. Dee Gordon manufactured a run by himself (singled, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, scored on an “infield single” which should have been ruled an error), and that was as close as it came. Joe Kelly pitched seven innings and wasn’t amazing (4K, 1BB), and the Dodgers continued to struggle with situational hitting (1-for-5 with runners in scoring position). Temporary struggles with runners in scoring position will work themselves out with time (it isn’t a skill which players have shown an ability to permanently maintain) but it certainly isn’t fun now.

Oh, and Yasiel Puig is hurt. In the eighth inning, the Dodgers were staging a mini-rally against lefty Sam Freemon. After a Justin Turner walk and a Dee Gordon double, Carl Crawford came in to bat against a left-handed pitcher. In general, you have to pull Crawford for Matt Kemp in that situation. It’s the only thing which would make Crawford starting okay. But Kemp pinch-hit for Puig after a Crawford sacrifice fly instead. Puig was hit in the hand earlier in the game by Joe Kelly (of course it was Joe Kelly). The Dodgers reported to the media that Puig left the game with a “sore left hand.” Here’s hoping that the inevitable X-Rays are negative.

Puig’s removal also continued to cloud the picture of what on earth is happening in the outfield. Scott Van Slyke started the game in center. Once Puig was removed, instead of putting Kemp in right and leaving Van Slyke in center, Don Mattingly did the reverse. Kemp hasn’t played right field in a game yet, but if Van Slyke is better in center with Kemp in left, then it would stand to reason that he would still be better in center while Kemp is in right field… right? This is so convoluted.

Luckily, we’ll be treated to a Clayton Kershaw start tomorrow. He’ll be pitching against Carlos Martinez on ESPN in the evening. Even with the team sputtering, the thoughts of a Clayton Kershaw start makes things a little bit better.


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.


767 comments
mrdodger1966
mrdodger1966

So, how many Dodger runs can we expect tonight... 2, 1, or none?

 Kyle
Kyle

Fuck. Today's game is only ESPN isn't it?

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

Per the AP, "Puig is day to day after he was hit on the left hand by a pitch Saturday and exited in the eighth inning."

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

On the season, the Dodgers rank 23rd in MLB for home runs hit.  The team they're playing tonight ranks 29th.

- Casey -
- Casey -

Was that Votto? Pretty uncharacteristic of him, if so.

- Casey -
- Casey -

Ah, I was surprised that he would let that drop.

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Gonna be an early Threat tonight I think.

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

@shooter` Chapman is all washed up!  Trade him to the Dodgers, who take old retread relievers!

TheConman
TheConman

The last Dodgers homerun was hit on July 9 by Miguel Rojas 

TheConman
TheConman

i know there was the break in there but it still feels like forever

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

@TheConman >> The last Dodgers homerun was hit on July 9 by Miguel Rojas

And I can tell my grandchildren that I was there!

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

@TheConman The Dodgers are tied with Atlanta for last in MLB for home runs hit in July, with 6.

JohnMichaelKane
JohnMichaelKane

So the dodgers ha e one more homer in july than kolten wong does in july. Great!

Gregory Polanco
Gregory Polanco

McCutchen pretty much got a defensive indifference in the 8th inning, but ruled a stolen base.


BlueMarvin
BlueMarvin

Got my truck washed at one of those do-it-yourself places.  Finally.  Remembered to bring the big towel to dry it off, so no water spots.  It probably looked really nice too.  Got to the curb, not even out of the facility... it started POURING rain.  Happens.  Every.  Time.  :(

BlueMarvin
BlueMarvin

@a tomato @BlueMarvin  Too bad rain water isn't deionized.  Fuck the rain gods.  At least they didn't get my RX-7, which is safely in the garage.

J.O.
J.O.

Wait, Pirates get Dodgers at PNC AND avoid Kershaw and Greinke?


This pleases me...well not completely since Greinke has a 5.37 era against them.

J.O.
J.O.

@P_F_P @J.O. yeah but the Dodgers still have a winning record.

*this year the pirates are 9000 games over .500 against teams with losing records and 8996 games under .500 against teams with winning records


*stats may not be accurate

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

@shooter` @J.O. @P_F_P The fact that the Dodgers haven't played the Cubs yet may have something to do with that.  :)

nsxtasy
nsxtasy

@shooter` @J.O. @P_F_P Right now, vs the NL Central, the Dodgers have a winning record vs CIN, losing vs PIT, even vs STL, and have yet to play MIL or CHC.