Zack Greinke was marvelous again for the Dodgers, going six scoreless innings while striking out five and limiting the Cubs to just five baserunners. Greinke did labor a bit, throwing 111 pitches, but he never appeared in any real danger after the first inning was complete. However, Greinke also couldn’t get any run support yet again and thus left with the score tied at 0.
Generating offense was a chore today, and the team managed just three hits and three walks on the day. Given the lack of opportunities, it was important that the offense take advantage of the chances presented, but they squandered a lead-off double from Alberto Callaspo in the third and a pop-up triple from Yasiel Puig in the sixth. Granted, Jason Hammel is a good pitcher, but this Dodgers offense is also supposed to be good, and Hammel limited them to two baserunners through seven innings of work.
The eighth inning provided some hope, however, as Hammel started to lose control a bit, walking two batters and being removed for Hector Rondon. Rondon promptly got Puig to pop-up with runners on the corners, ending the threat. In the ninth, the Dodgers put two runners on again thanks to a single and a walk, but they were stranded when Andre Ethier grounded out to second. That was the offense’s last threat, as they went quietly in the 10th.
Following Greinke, Juan Nicasio and Adam Liberatore both pitched scoreless innings to get the game to the ninth tied up. Don Mattingly again elected to not go to his closer Kenley Jansen because SAVES and went to Yimi Garcia instead. Fortunately, Yimi beat the heart of the order and worked a 1-2-3 frame. Next came Joel Peralta, who hasn’t pitched since April, and he started by giving up back-to-back singles and then walking the bases loaded.
Jansen finally entered in a situation designed for him to thrive, with the bases juiced, and managed to get a ground out before giving up the walk-off sac fly, which means it’s all his fault or something.