Greinke At His Best: Dodgers 1, Rockies 0

Zack Greinke struck out nine and walked one en route to a two-hit complete game shutout of the Colorado Rockies. (Image source: Los Angeles Times at http://www.trbimg.com/img-51946e56/turbine/la-sp-dn-return-greinke-20130515-001/600/600×395)

As the season runs up quickly on the All Star Break, Zack Greinke is just finding his stride.  The right-hander’s 2-hit shutout was so dominating that some might argue that Greinke was in some ways more effective and efficient than Tim Lincecum was in his 148 pitch no-hitter down south in San Diego.

It’s not often that you can say a two-hitter was more impressive than a no-hitter.  But in Greinke’s case, it could be argued that it was.  After all, he allowed fewer base runners than Lincecum (3 total including a walk, while Lincecum walked four) and used 38 fewer pitches (Greinke’s 110 seeming much more reasonable than Lincecum’s 148.)  His fastball seemed to even gain a little zip on it at the end, his final pitch being a fastball clocked at 94 MPH as he struck out the Rockies’ number two hitter D.J. LeMahieu looking to end the game with Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez standing on deck.

Not much scoring to report in this game.  Skip Schumaker drove a ball toward the left-center field gap that skipped over the glove of a diving Dexter Fowler and went to the wall for a double.  Mark Ellis was hit by a pitch.  Adrian Gonzalez grounded out to the right side of the infield to move the runners to second and third.  Then a Hanley Ramirez grounder to the shortstop was hit slowly enough to score Schumaker from third, giving the Dodgers the 1-0 lead that they would never relinquish.

The Rockies only managed to get a runner to second base twice over the course of the game, both on stolen bases.  Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis also threw out a runner.  The closest the Rockies truly got to threatening to score was in the eighth inning when Todd Helton walked, Josh Rutledge replaced him as a pinch runner and stole second, and then Greinke settled in to get a groundout to third that failed to advance the runner, a strikeout for the second out, and then another groundout to end the inning, getting out of a runner on second with no outs situation that was the closest thing to a jam that Greinke found himself in all day.

Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford both sat out the game, but the one run was enough offense on this day.  Mark Ellis appeared to sustain some sort of leg injury and came out for pinch runner Nick Punto in the bottom of the 8th inning.  He will be out of the lineup on Sunday against the Rockies due to the injury.

The winning pitcher was Greinke (8-2, 3.49 ERA.)  Tyler Chatwood was a hard-luck loser, pitching all eight necessary innings for the Rockies and giving up one run on four hits and two walks against four strikeouts and watching his record drop to 5-3 and his ERA also drop to 2.56.  This is the second game that Chatwood has lost to the Dodgers this season.  Both teams avoided using the bullpens in this game.

The final game of the four game homestand will also be the final game before the All Star Break.  The Dodgers’ Ricky Nolasco (6-8, 3.70 ERA; 1-0 1.29 since the trade) makes his Dodger Stadium debut against Jhoulys Chacin (8-4, 3.62 ERA) at 1:10 p.m.  The game is sold out and we encourage all fans planning to attend the game to be patient getting into the ballpark.  The Dodgers will have welcomed over 200,000 fans to the ballpark for the four game series, and it is clear that the fan base is coming out en force to support the team as they make their run on first place in the National League West.

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