Rapid Reaction: Dodgers 7, D-backs 0
May, 16, 2014
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com
PHOENIX -- The Los Angeles Dodgers continued to do their part in keeping the Arizona Diamondbacks miserable.
They beat Arizona 7-0 at Chase Field on Friday night, with Dodgers hitters putting on a power show and Zack Greinke a pitching clinic. It was the Dodgers' eighth win against Arizona in nine games this season and gave the Diamondbacks a 4-18 record at home, amazingly.
How it happened: Arizona actually put pressure on Greinke early, but he got some big strikeouts and a key double play to ease his way out of it and then he got in a groove and the Diamondbacks went down meekly thereafter. He pitched eight shutout innings, giving up five hits and striking out six.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers hit some majestic shots off Wade Miley, particularly Scott Van Slyke's towering solo home run to center field in the sixth. Yasiel Puig also homered, on a slicing drive to right that extended his hitting streak to 15 games. Hanley Ramirez, Puig and Greinke had RBI doubles.
Hits: Greinke doesn't have the overpowering stuff he had when he won the Cy Young award five years ago, but he doesn't need it because he does so many of the little things well. He gets groundball outs, for one thing, including three inning-ending double plays Friday.
He also hasn't made an error in his last 113 games and he won the Silver Slugger award as the league's best-hitting pitcher last year when he batted .328. And don't look now, but he's heating up at the plate. Greinke went 2-for-4 and raised his average 83 points to .250. Three of his four hits are doubles.
Misses: It's amazing how often Adrian Gonzalez hits a hard grounder right to a second baseman standing in shallow right field. Teams are increasingly playing to hitters' spray charts and it looks as if Gonzalez is having a hard time adjusting to all the shifts. He's batting .155 in May and, after putting up a 1.021 OPS in April, it was .494 entering Friday's game.
The Dodgers' first baseman badly needs to figure out how to go the other way or hit the ball in the air more frequently.
Stat of the game: Since 1914, three Dodgers hitters had produced an extra-base hit and an RBI in seven straight games: Pedro Guerrero, Duke Snider and Howie Schultz. Now, there is a fourth. Yasiel Puig pulled it off with his third-inning home run off Miley. (Credit: Eric Stephen, Truebluela.com).
Up next: It doesn't get any easier for Arizona, which has to face Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 1.74 ERA) on Saturday evening. The Diamondbacks counter with Chase Anderson (1-0, 1.69), making his second major-league start, in a game that begins at 5:10 p.m.