Hitting to score runs is so overrated. It’s all about that BALK-OFF.
Enrique Hernandez, MVP.
Yes, that really happened in a real live game played by professional baseball players, and it happened after the Dodgers put runners on first and second with nobody out and Alberto Callaspo first failed to bunt effectively and then grounded into a double play. Yet, at the end of the day, the double play somehow managed to setup the balk because Keone Kela was too anxious to strike Jimmy Rollins out or get him to ground out to second base or whatever else was inevitably going to happen.
Zack Greinke was magnificent and efficient, throwing just 89 pitches through seven shutout innings before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. Greinke walked none, struck out eight, and scattered just four hits on the night. But Greinke didn’t get the win, which extends this winless starts streak I’ve only vaguely paid attention to because, as Zack says, it doesn’t matter at all.
Unfortunately, the Dodgers offense was equally ineffective as Greinke made the Rangers offense look.
The Dodgers did start the game off right and threatened in the bottom of the first after a one-out triple by Yasiel Puig, during which he helped the Rangers cut-off man by telling him not to bother trying to throw him out.
But struggling Adrian Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick couldn’t cash him in. From there on out, both the Rangers and Dodgers would threaten with multiple men on base at different points in the game, but all opportunities would amount to nothing in the end, with the pair of offenses being shutout through eight and a half frames (or nine, when you think about it).
Thankfully, J.P. Howell and Kenley Jansen were on point today, pitching two perfect frames with five strikeouts to hold the fort and to allow the glorious balk-off to happen.
Balls still aren’t falling for the Dodgers, but I really felt watching the game that they were taking better at-bats. Far less swinging at garbage and making outs meekly on the first pitch, and more line drive/hard hit outs that just didn’t fall in. Not great, but better than I was seeing the rest of the series.