Greinke moving closer to co-ace status
August, 21, 2013
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com
MIAMI -- There has been a lot of noise around Yasiel Puig since the Los Angeles Dodgers have been in South Florida, or come to think of it, anywhere else.
But the pitching staff has been making sure everything else stays quiet. Zack Greinke dominated the Miami Marlins in the Dodgers' 4-1 win Wednesday night, and the Marlins have Clayton Kershaw to look forward to Thursday afternoon. The pair is giving the Dodgers a lethal combination at the top of their rotation.
Seems a bit cruel, doesn't it?
Greinke has given up a total of one run in his last three starts. After giving up Giancarlo Stanton's first-inning home run, the Marlins could scarcely touch him. He needed just 99 pitches to get through eight innings, striking out seven batters and giving up six hits. Greinke (12-3) is 6-1 with a 1.40 ERA in his last nine starts.
And closer Kenley Jansen is coming in and giving teams no hope of a rally lately. He pitched another scoreless ninth inning and has saved his last 14 opportunities, piling up 32 strikeouts in his last 21 games.
The Dodgers got their first look this season at the pitcher they had to give up -- Nate Eovaldi -- to get Hanley Ramirez. As good as Ramirez has been for the Dodgers -- arguably the team MVP -- it wasn't a small price to pay.
Eovaldi's fastball was electric, hitting 98 mph in the first inning, and it looks as if he has refined his game since the trade. Eovaldi pitched seven innings despite some shaky defense behind him, giving up three runs (two earned) and six hits.
Ed Lucas made a bad throw to first on Puig's fourth-inning grounder, opening the door for all three of the Dodgers' runs off Eovaldi. Ramirez had an RBI double, ripping a ball into the left-center gap, and Andre Ethier squirted one to left to drive in another run.
Stanton will be an interesting name to keep tabs on in a few years, when he reaches free agency, depending what happens with the Dodgers' other outfielders. He's from the San Fernando Valley (Notre Dame High) and has been critical, at times, of the Marlins' way of doing business.
Oh, and he can hit. In the first three games of this series, Stanton is 7-for-12 with two home runs, both low-flying line drives. He crushed one just inside the left-field foul pole off Greinke.