Sunday’s 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates could have been avoided by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
First, had the storm that caused an 1.5-hour rain delay before first pitch not let up, the game might not have been played. More substantially, had Zack Greinke not thrown two crucial mistake pitches, things might have panned out better for Los Angeles.
Instead, big hits from Garrett Jones (a first-inning, full-count two-run double) and Pedro Alvarez (a fifth-inning, full-count three-run home run to right center) sealed the loss for Greinke and the Dodgers, and gave the Pirates the series victory.
Those mistakes proved decisive for Greinke (who sent 5 innings, allowing eight hits and five earned runs on 104 pitches) – but Dodgers hitters couldn’t quite solve rookie Gerrit Cole, making his second Major League start for Pittsburgh. He tossed 5 2/3 innings of seven-hit, three-run ball, enough to silence Los Angeles’ bats and earn his second big-league victory.
The sixth inning was something of a crossroads in the game: two-out hits from Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier brought the Dodgers to within 5-3, but reliever Justin Wilson ended the threat by striking out Luis Cruz with the bases loaded. That would prove to be the decisive moment in the game, as Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli (who shut the door in the ninth for his 25th save on the season) sailed through their 3 1/3 innings of relief.
With the loss, Greinke falls to 3-2 on the season – and has only delivered two quality starts in the seven he’s made since returning from the D.L. on May 15th.
Los Angeles has a day off on Monday, before opening up a short two-game interleague series with the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.
The pitching match ups:
Tuesday 6/18: Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-2, 2.85 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (3-5, 4.89 ERA) 4:05 PM PST
Wednesday 6/19: TBA vs. Hiroki Kuroda (6-5, 2.78 ERA) 4:05 PM PST