After Hyun-Jin Ryu landed on the disabled list and after injuries have wiped out the back-end of the Dodgers’ rotation, much of the talk surrounding the team has been about the team’s lack of starting pitching.
That focus might have shifted, at least for one night.
Zack Greinke limited the Milwaukee Brewers to two hits in five innings, but the Dodgers bullpen allowed all six runs in a 6-3 loss on Friday night.
The bullpen wasted a solid outing from Greinke, who pitched for the Brewers in 2011 and the first half of the 2012 season. Even though Greinke needed 99 pitches to get him through five innings and tie a season high with five walks, he also allowed just two hits, no runs, and struck out six.
The big scare came with two outs in the fourth inning, when Greinke walked the bases loaded. But like he did the rest of the night, he got out of trouble, this time by striking out Brewers pitcher Jimmy Nelson.
After Greinke departed, Jamey Wright allowed two runs to tie up the game. He departed with the bases loaded. His replacement, Brandon League entered the game and allowed a bases-clearing double to pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay. The 37-year old Overbay is hitting .228 on the season, but lofted a soft liner in a perfect spot down the third-base line to open the game up.
Also thrown aside in the loss was another startling offensive performance from Dee Gordon, who scored two of the Dodgers' runs as part of a 2-for-4 night.
Gordon started off the game by slapping a short roller down the first base line, a hit that was essentially a swinging bunt.
The ball was placed perfectly between Brewers pitcher Jimmy Nelson and the first baseman, a slower batter would have been thrown out. With Gordon running, Nelson dove to the grass. He was still face down when Gordon reached first base.
Gordon then stole second, his 55th stolen base of the year. Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy, in a hurry to try and catch the speedster, rushed to throw. It sailed into center field, and Gordon advanced to third.
After advancing from home to third on nothing but speed, Gordon then jogged home on a single by Yasiel Puig.
The Dodgers other run came in the fifth, Gordon reached on a fielder’s choice by beating out a grounder that would have been a double play for any other Dodger. Again, he stole second, and again, he scored on a single by Puig.
The man who drove in Gordon both times, Puig, had three hits and scored the other Dodger run after doubling to lead off the eighth inning. The Dodgers couldn’t get anything else going, though, and dropped the first game of the three game series.