Even the best teams have forgettable nights. The Dodgers have been incredible this year, but stumbled to a 7-1 loss against the Rockies tonight.
Zack Greinke had another start typical of what he has been so far in 2015. He struck out five in six innings of work (including three in the first). The only actual damage against him was a solo shot by Carlos Gonzalez in the top of the first inning, who somehow pulled a fastball on the low and outside corner over the right-center fence. Greinke only allowed three other hits, but his fastball was only topping out around 90 by the end of the outing (with an 88mph slider; weird that the pitches are almost the same speed now). Greinke’s fastball velocity and decline in missed bats is a growing concern for me. His peripherals are still mostly fine, but are a step back from last year and there’s always the lingering questions about his health.
It’s not like Greinke was inducing particularly soft contact tonight, either. In addition to the home run, the Rockies were hitting a lot of liners and long fly balls. On one of those fly balls, Enrique Hernandez certainly saved a run:
Greinke’s reaction, as one would expect, was pretty entertaining (GIF via Chad):
It’s certainly easy to see how much of an asset Hernandez’ positional versatility is.
The only other notable thing to happen tonight occurred in the top of the eighth inning. One night after Kenley Jansen struck out four Rockies in one inning, Sergio Santos replicated the feat. Santos did it in a much different way, however. After DJ LeMahieu reached base on a wild pitch and advanced to second on another wild pitch, Carlos Gonzalez singled him in and Nolan Arenado hit a two run home run. After the damage was done, Drew Stubbs, Wilin Rosario, and Michael McKenry struck out in the next three plate appearances. Four strikeouts, three runs, and the night after a previous four strikeout inning. Weird.
Oh, and Jorge De La Rosa shut down the Dodger offense, which has been historically great this season. After Hernandez led off the first with a double, De La Rosa retired 18 straight Dodgers. Remember, he walked nine Dodgers in his rocky outing last Sunday. Sitting the two best hitters on the same night doesn’t help, but keep in mind that a lot of the other hitters in the lineup tonight have been a part of the historically great offense this year. It’s baseball. These things happen. At least a late rally broke the shutout in the ninth.
But, really, the Dodgers won’t remember this one for long. Their minds are already on trying to salvage a series split against Kyle Kendrick and the Rockies. Opposing Kendrick will be Mike Bolsinger at 1:10PM PDT. At least he won’t give up a homer like the one he allowed to Giancarlo Stanton last time (probably).