Zack Greinke pitched well in his final start before presumably taking the mound for Game 2 of the NLDS next week, but the Los Angeles Dodgers fell to the Colorado Rockies 1-0 on Saturday night.
As good as Greinke was, the Dodgers’ makeshift lineup (which was without Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, who was a late scratch) couldn’t handle Rockies starter Juan Nicasio and a handful of relievers.
Colorado put runners on the corners with two outs in the third (on a single from Jordan Pacheco and Charlie Blackmon) but Greinke struck out Charlie Culberson to escape the jam unscathed.
An inning later, a one-out Troy Tulowiztki double became a run for the Rockies when Nolan Arenado’s drive eluded Van Slyke’s effort in left, giving Colorado a 1-0 lead that would effectively decide the game.
In the bottom of the fourth, Juan Uribe doubled with two outs but his bid to tie the game died when Nicasio (with a pitch count already in the seventies) struck out Van Slyke.
Greinke finished his night with a perfect sixth, ending with a line of 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K – his final few innings before the playoffs begin on Thursday.
Against Nicasio in the bottom of the sixth, A.J. Ellis reached on a fielding error by second baseman Jonathan Herrera. Hanley Ramirez then dumped a single to right, moving Ellis over to third and prompting the Rockies to bring in Josh Outman to face Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez walked on four pitches, loading the bases. Adam Ottavino was then summoned from the bullpen, and the right-hander responded by fouling out Juan Uribe and getting Van Slyke on a fly to right to end the inning with L.A. still trailing 1-0.
With two outs in the seventh, Yasiel Puig pinch-hit for Ronald Belisario against Matt Belisle and struck out, as the Rockies continued to preserve their 1-0 lead.
Paco Rodriguez navigated the eighth, using twelve pitches to strike out Blackmon, retire Culberson on a grounder to Uribe and strike out Corey Dickerson to get some work in before the Division Series.
The Dodgers put a runner on first in the eighth on Hanley Ramirez’s walk, but the inning ended when Rex Brothers retired Adrian Gonzalez, keeping the score at 1-0.
Brian Wilson pitched a perfect ninth, as he continues to prove his worth out of the Dodgers’ ‘pen.
Uribe drew a leadoff walk against Brothers in the ninth, but Van Slyke struck out, Michael Young flew out and Mark Ellis grounded to second to end the game and wrap up the second-to-last game of the regular season.
Tomorrow, Hyun-jin Ryu (14-7, 2.97 ERA) will take the hill opposite Jeff Francis (2-5, 6.61 ERA) at 1:10 p.m. as the Dodgers bid the regular season adieu before taking on either the St. Louis Cardinals or Atlanta Braves beginning next Thursday in the Division Series.
- Matt Kemp was scratched from the lineup shortly before first pitch for what the Dodgers deemed ‘precautionary reasons due to left ankle soreness’ – surely not something the team was hoping to see as the playoffs kick off in a few days.
- After the game, Don Mattingly said Kemp couldn’t get loose prior to first pitch as his ankle was acting up – hence Kemp’s removal from the lineup shortly before the game began.
- Despite the setback, Mattingly sounded confident that Kemp will be ready to go in the Division Series.