More Questionable Decisions by Dodgers Mar Zack Greinke's Gem and Juan Uribe's Heroics
Zack Greinke did everything he could to win Game 1 of the NL Championship Series for the Dodgers.
All Greinke did was pitch eight innings striking out 10 and walking only one batter. The only mistake he made was a Carlos Beltran double in the third inning that tied the game 2-2. However centerfielder Andre Ethier perhaps could have caught that had it not been his first start since suffering from shin splints on Sept. 13.
Before that double it looked like Juan Uribe would be the hero for the Dodgers yet again. If you look in the dictionary for "unlikely hero", Uribe's grinning mug would most likely be found.
For two seasons, Dodger fans booed Uribe mercilessly. Uribe averaged .199 in the first two years of his three-year, $21 million free agent deal signed just after he helped San Francisco win their first World Series since moving from Manhattan.
Having come right as the Frank McCourt nonsense reached its peak, it seemed like the crowd's reaction to Uribe, an overpaid player who couldn't hit worth a lick, was an indictment of McCourt himself.
Before the season started, I told other reporters that Uribe would bat .320 with 20 homers and 100 RBI this season in his contract season. Many chuckles were made, but no one could have expected him to bat .278 with 12 homers and a career-high 117 OPS+.
Uribe had his big moment of glory, a two-run homer in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the Division Series against the Braves which sent the them packing for the winter. For a lot of players, that's it.
Here Uribe was again in the third inning with the bases loaded and two outs. The Dodgers had already stranded three runners, two in scoring position, and the team had been batting .190 (26-for-137) with the bases loaded during the regular season. Basically all signs pointed to the Dodgers to remain scoreless.
But I had teased the Uribe stuff for a reason. On the first pitch, Uribe grounded a single up the middle that gave the Dodgers the 2-0 lead.
Manager Don Mattingly made another boneheaded move. This time it wasn't telling Uribe to bunt with a runner already in scoring position, although that probably would have been preferable. With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the eighth, Adrian Gonzalez led off with a walk. Mattingly took Gonzalez out and put in pinch runner Dee Gordon.
Again, in a game the Dodgers were not trailing before the ninth inning, Mattingly took out the clean up hitter for a pinch runner. Predictably, Yasiel Puig hit a grounder to shortstop which erased Gordon at second. So not only did Mattingly erase his clean up hitter, he erased his pinch runner.
Uribe grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Then there was the tenth inning. Mark Ellis hit a one-out triple giving the Dodgers the best hope of winning the game. After Trever Rosenthal intentionally walked Hanley Ramirez, Michael Young hit a high shallow fly ball to right fielder Carlos Beltran. Third base coach Tim Wallach sent Ellis home. The ball was in catcher Yadier Molina's glove before Ellis had even a view of the plate. Just your traditional 9-2 double play.
By the way, Young came in to replace Gordon in the eighth. Not only did Young double play there, but he also grounded into a double play in the 12th inning. That was set up by Mark Ellis bunting Carl Crawford to second base which took the bat out of Hanley Ramirez's hands — Lance Lynn intentionally walked him.
All of this with Adrian Gonzalez sitting on the bench.
Carlos Beltran hit an RBI single in the 13th to give the Cardinals the 3-2 victory. With Adrian Gonzalez sitting on the bench.