Zack Greinke came into today’s game against the Brewers having struggled in his last two starts, giving up nine runs (seven earned) in the 13 innings of work, and Greinke labored again today. In five innings of work, he threw 99 pitches and walked five before being removed for a pinch-hitter. Of course, Greinke also gave up no runs because he limited the damage by allowing only two hits and striking out six batters.
Who was feeling it early? Dee was feeling it early.
Pedro Baez continued the good vibes through the seventh, pitching two rather uneventful scoreless innings in relief.
After that came nightmare fuel for Dodger fans.
With Kenley Jansen likely unavailable after throwing 31 pitches yesterday in a four-out save, and with J.P. Howell seemingly unavailable due to injury, the pen’s lack of other reliable options was exposed again. Jamey Wright, a solid long-man, was forced into high leverage work and struggled. The eighth started off with a line-out right back to him, and then he surrendered four-straight hits to the Brewers before intentionally walking Mark Reynolds (why?) to load the bases.
Brandon League then entered in relief, striking out Rickie Weeks before surrendering a bases-clearing double to lefty Lyle Overbay. Carrying only one lefty reliever was bound to result in this at some point since League is basically a ROOGY. And while I get the default anger at Don Mattingly, it’s not really on him that the bullpen can only turn to two pitchers and both were unavailable.
Carlos Frias also surrendered another run in the top of the ninth, but the damage was done already.
At least the Giants just lost.
Nevermind, apparently Howell was available.
Kenley Jansen and Brian Wilson were not available tonight. Don Mattingly said that J.P Howell was.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) August 16, 2014
Feel free to blame Mattingly now. Leaving League in against a lefty in that situation is absolutely horrendous. League gets squared up like that against lefties all the time because of the EXACT pitch he threw to Overbay.
If you use Howell and Frias loses it in the ninth, then that’s on Ned Colletti‘s roster construction, not Mattingly. Not using Howell with the game on the line is on him though.