Through five and one third innings, the Dodgers had not managed a hit against Trevor Cahill. They had their share of baserunners (Andre Ethier reached on an error, Hanley Ramirez and Justin Turner both walked and stole second), but that was it. The Dodgers have generally been good against Cahill this season, and he’s had a rough year. Seeing the offense flounder a bit was frustrating.
Then, in the sixth inning, the offense came to life. Dee Gordon finally got the Dodgers in the hit column with a double down the left field line. Hanley Ramirez walked, then Adrian Gonzalez put the Dodgers ahead 3-2 with a 441 foot bomb to dead center field. Cahill was chased later in the inning, as the Dodgers loaded the bases, but Joc Pederson struck out to end the threat.
The following inning brought, as Vin Scully called it, a repeat for the west coast against Oliver Perez. Dee Gordon walked, Hanley Ramirez reached on a fielding error, then Adrian Gonzalez hit another three run home run, this one to the opposite field. Gonzalez’ two home runs scored the first six Dodger runs, and it’s certainly a good time for his bat to be waking up. Matt Kemp followed up Gonzalez’ second homer with a solo shot to left of his own. The inning featured, among other things, Ethier getting hit by a curveball. The umpires warned the benches, which got both managers mad. Don Mattingly argued, and both he and Clayton Kershaw (!) were kicked out of the game. Clayton Kershaw, still the best. The offense provided was more than enough to propel the Dodgers to victory.
Zack Greinke wasn’t very sharp this afternoon. He gave up two runs in six innings, which of course isn’t bad. One of those runs was scored on an infield single, though Greinke was helped out by Matt Kemp throwing out Miguel Montero at the plate as he tried to score on an Alfredo Marte fly ball. In the first three innings especially, Greinke was wild. Vin Scully mentioned that he looked “uncomfortable” trying to locate his pitches. Greinke settled in for good fourth and fifth innings before losing his command a bit in the sixth. When all was said and done, Greinke walked three batters and struck out four, allowing two runs on six hits.
I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that Greinke’s elbow is still bothering him, because his velocity was normal. Of course, it was normal before the issues popped up last month, but there wasn’t any obvious indication of elbow pain today. Just remember that he looked great last time out, and hopefully we don’t hear more about it.
Yasiel Puig, his slump and lineup placement making news, grounded out, popped up, and walked. He was pulled in the seventh inning after Joc Pederson’s pinch hit appearance. At this point, I’m at a complete loss for what the Dodgers and Don Mattingly are trying to do with him. They pulled Puig so Andre Ethier, who has been slumping all season, could remain in left field. How are they expecting Puig to break out of his slump if they’re not going to give him opportunities to do so? I just don’t get it.
Their sweep of the Diamondbacks complete, the Dodgers will turn their attention to the Giants and Tigers, who are playing on ESPN’s night game. Looking forward to tomorrow, Clayton Kershaw will face Odrisamer Despaigne at 7:10 PT.