Zach Greinke is a boss. Zach Greinke is the man. Zach Greinke is clutch. Those were some of the thoughts that ran through my mind while watching him pitch a gem in Game 2 at Chavez Ravine. Greinke gave the Dodgers exactly what the Dodgers ordered and then some. Greinke pitched 7 scoreless innings. He struck out 7 and just gave up 2 hits. He also contributed offensively, Greinke had his first career multi hit hit game going 2 for 3. Greinke gave the performance that the Dodgers needed after the devastating loss the other night. He couldn’t be touched.
Then Mattingly went to the bullpen in the 8th inning with the Dodgers leading 2 – 0. Greinke exits the game to a standing ovation. What followed should scare every Dodger fan. JP Howell came in and gave a two-run homerun to Matt Carpenter. Matt Carpenter!! Are you kidding me! Not again!! I’ll admit Howell is the only pitcher out of the bullpen besides Kenley Jansen I had a faith in and I was wrong tonight. The bullpen for the Dodgers is their biggest weakness. A weak bullpen puts so much pressure in the starting pitcher to go deep into games as to keep the ball out of the bullpen.
People will say Mattingly was wrong to pull Greinke after he just let Kershaw in the game to cough up the lead. The truth is it’s a Catch -22 for Mattingly when it comes to staying with your starters or go to the bullpen especially if your starters are Kershaw or Greinke. He can’t win.
Fortunately, for Mattingly and the Dodgers Matt Kemp (#beastmode) came to the rescue in the bottom of the 8th with a solo blast to take the lead and that ended up being the winning run. Matt Kemp has been on an absolute tear since the All-Star break. It’s pretty hilarious to think that most Dodger fans wanted to trade Kemp. Kemp is nowlooking like his MVP self and that’s a great thing for the Dodgers. Kemp has persevered and perseverance leads to championships.
As this series shifts to St. Louis the Dodgers have to hope that Hyun-Jin Ryu can give them a solid outing after being in the DL for most of September. The Dodgers also have to pray that their bullpen gets it together. The brightside to the Dodgers hitting the road is the Dodgers are a great road team. Also their bats have done the job through the first two games. I believe the Dodgers can and will win a game if not wrap up the series in St. Louis.
Welcome to Blue October. Gotta love this time of year.