Greinke Shuts Down the Rockies
Zack Greinke was impervious to the world.
It didn't matter that the Dodgers scored only one run for him. Greinke had a perfect game going through 4 1/3 innings and wound up with a two-pitch shutout striking out nine hitters and walking one. His 110-pitch masterpiece took all of two hours, 17 minutes to complete.
"That was pretty special what he did," A.J. Ellis said.
As with games like these, there are usually no indicators going into the game.
"The 'pen didn't feel anything great," Greinke said about the late movement of his fastball. "Playing catch didn't feel anything great. But the swings showed that it was moving good."
"You could see he was locked in early," manager Don Mattingly said.
Greinke needed eight pitches to get out of the first, six in the second, nine in the third. He pitched like a rock rolling downhill gathering momentum the further it goes. He seemed unstoppable until the fifth inning. With one out there Todd Helton stood. First pitch, a ball. Second pitch, a called strike. A foul and a ball later, Helton swung on the curveball and lined the ball into left field.
The soldout crowd of 51,992 gave Greinke a cool applause. After all, the last no-hitter that was witnessed at the Ravine came all the back on July 14, 1995 when Ramon Martinez no-hit the Florida Marlins 7-0.
Greinke could have folded right there, but the only other hit he gave up a single to shortstop Jonathan Herrera to lead off the sixth inning. He also walked Helton to lead off the eighth.
On the other side, there was Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood. Known in Southern California as the young arm the Angels traded to get Chris Ianetta in 2011, aside from the first inning he twirled a gem of his own.
Skip Schumaker drove the first pitch Chatwood made into centerfield just past the diving Dexter Fowler for a double. He came home on Hanley Ramirez's grounder.
Chatwood gave up only four hits in his eight innings. "That was definitely a tough one," he said. "My stuff was the same all game, and I attacked. But you have to tip your cap to Zack. He pitched a good game. I threw the ball pretty good today.
"That's just how it goes."
One thing was certain. Greinke was pitching the ninth. Sure the Dodgers had Kenley Jansen and Paco Rodriguez warming up just in case Carlos Gonzalez got to the plate.
"We knew he was feeling pretty good," Mattingly said.
The crowd urged him on as he got pinch hitter Charlie Blackmon to ground out. The crescendo continued as Dexter Fowler swung on strike three. And they went berzerk when D.J. LeMahieu looked at a called strike three.
"I noticed [the crowd] in that last inning," Greinke admitted.
And there it was, Greinke's first shutout since hin 2009 Cy Young season when he had three. He's now tossed 16 consecutive scoreless inning and notched his 99th win.
All of this masked a fact that should scare all Dodger fans. The Dodgers were down to one outfielder today, and he was the one deemed expendable: Andre Ethier.
Matt Kemp has been on the disabled list since July 6 with inflammation of the AC joint in his left shoulder, Carl Crawford was held out of the lineup for the second straight day with a sore back and Yasiel Puig was out with a sore hip.
With the Dodgers having won 16 of their last 20, the All Star break seemed to be coming around at an inopportune time. Now, not so much.
"We just need to get healthy and play," Mattingly said. He's also not resting on any laurels. "We made a pretty good run to get back in it, but we're still behind."
Mark Ellis fouled a pitch off of his left leg in the eighth inning. He grounded to first base, the first baseman Jordan Pacheco letting the ball eat him up. Ellis hobbled down the line safely. He left the game, and X-rays were negative.
Rockies scorecard: (click to embiggen)
Dodgers scorecard: (click to embiggen)