The Dodgers narrowed the gap in the Quest for the NL West by hitting a homer run off Zack Greinke with one out in the seventh. Paul Goldschmidt provided Arizona’s scoring earlyert, with a two-run jack of his own.
A shake-off of Mathis in the seventh and the decision by Lovullo to let Greinke pitch in the eighth may well have been the points that made the difference in this game featuring great starts from both sides.
Despite the recent philosophy off shortening the leashes of the starting pitchers, TOrey Lovullo looked at Zack Greinke only having needed to throw 91 pitches to complete his seven innings of work and chose to let the pitcher bat for himself and then return to the mound in the eighth. One out later, the Dodgers took the lead and narrowed Arizona’s lead on them for the NL West crown to one game.
The return of Kenley Jansen tot he Dodgers’ bullpen was supposed to be a massive boost for the team. Instead, things have continued to be dicey for Los Angeles anytime they called upon their relief corps. In the battle for NL West supremacy, the Dodgers sent Jansen to the mound to close out the game against the Diamondbacks on Friday. The closer delivered.
Throwing 96-98 from the right side is not the only way to be a successful as a reliever. Spending smart, while creating completely different looks and allowing the defense to do its job can lead to great success as well. It doesn’t hurt that Arizona has the most innings pitched out of starting pitchers in the majors.
The last two times Brad Boxberger has taken the mound he has recorded a save. In neither outing did he record three outs.
Even with last night’s loss, the Diamondbacks remain a game ahead of the second place Dodgers and 1.5 games ahead of the Rockies.
Last night was the deadline for teams to make trades that would allow the players acquired to be part of any postseason rosters. Among other moves, the Brewers were very busy, making three trades, the Dodgers traded for Josh Donaldson despite having the best value in baseball already playing third base, and the Dodgers added to their already impressive squad.
Positional flexibility can be a great asset, even when you are the best in the league at your position. By acquiring Josh Donaldson, the Cleveland Indians can use that skill to move potential 10-fWAR third baseman, Jose Ramirez to second base, allowing them to then slide Jason Kipnis to fill in in center field, where the INdians rank as one of the worst in baseball.