Greinke Return Can Turn The Dodgers Season Around
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By Enrique Rivera (Dodgers Correspondent for MLB Reports) Follow @eriqwiththeq
I think it’s pretty safe to say that the Dodgers haven’t had a very mary month of May and with halfway through the month, they are 4-9. This includes an eight-game losing streak that went from May 1st to May 10th.
During that losing streak, the Dodgers committed a Dodger sin by being swept against their Rivals the San Francisco Giants at AT and T Park.
Usually when this happens to a team with a lot of talent, fans begin pointing fingers and try to figure out what the issue is. Either that or begin giving up on the team’s season right away.
Fingers have been pointed at many different things-from Dodgers’ skipper Don Mattingly to the injuries themselves. The biggest blow for the Dodgers was the injury that made their expensive new pitcher Zack Greinke miss several starts.
ESPN analysts Manny Acta and Alex Cora analyse Zack Greinke’s comeback
As everyone remembers, Greinke got into a brawl with Padres’ Outfielder Carlos Quentin in the second week of the season that injured and many expected Greinke to be out for at least 8 weeks.
The Dodgers were 6-3 at that point. Six weeks later he comes back to start against a good Washington Nationals team and keeps them in check by pitching 5.1 inning, allowing 1 earned run and striking out 4 hitters.
The Dodger bullpen did it’s job and helped Greinke pick up his 3rd win of the season and as a Dodger. Closer Brandon League closed the door against the Nationals earning him his 9th save of the season.
This comeback performance by Greinke came right after a dominant start by Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw went 8.2 innings striking out 11, walking 1 and gave up no runs. At the end of the night, Kershaw found himself tied with Cardinals’ rookie Shelby Miller for best ERA in the Major Leagues.
Everything sounds all fine and dandy but the Dodgers are still last place in the division and 6 games behind first place. Sure, it’s early in the season and there’s a lot of baseball left but the point is that the Dodgers have to start winning regardless.
Getting Greinke back will give the Dodgers that they need by having those three reliable pitchers in Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Greinke.
By the way, Ryu is 4-2 in his first 8 starts with a 3.40 ERA for the Dodgers. On April 30th, Ryu SO’d 12 Colorado Rockies in 6 innings for a win.
Other guys who have hit the DL list for the Dodgers include Jerry Hairston, Mark Ellis, Hanley Ramirez (again), Chris Capuano, Ted Lilly, and the newly injured Josh Beckett. All the guys listed are currently on the 15-Day DL. Chad Bllingsley is on the 60-Day DL as he’s recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Hanley Ramirez was a huge key for the Dodgers to get back offensively. On his short stint back, Ramirez played in 4 games and hit .455 with a HR. He also had two multiple hit games in the Giants series.
The injury landed Ramirez in the 15-Day DL with a strained left hamstring. Ramirez was in AT&T Park when he injured his thumb during the World Baseball Classic and ironically enough, he was in AT&T Park again when he suffered this injury.
Slugger Matt Kemp is also riding a nice quiet 14-game hitting streak boosting his AVG up to a modest .282. He isn’t hitting the monster shots we’re used to seeing from him but he is getting on base and knocking in RBI. Kemp is still sitting on one HR so far, that HR came against New York Mets’ phenom Matt Harvey.
Dodgers will hope to keep the momentum going as they begin a series against another good N.L. team the Atlanta Braves on Friday May 17 at Turner Field. They will send Ryu to kickoff the series. After that, they’ll go to Milwaukee for a three-game set against the Brewers. Mattingly is facing a tough decision with his last two starters, he has Capuano and Matt Magill as an option as well as Lilly who is getting ready to be activated.
Dodgers GM Ned Colleti also tried to his pitching staff up by signing former Giants’ starter left-hander Jonathan Sanchez to a minor league contract. He was released by the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 8th.
***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners***
Today’s feature was prepared by our Dodgers Correspondent Enrique Rivera. Enrique was born in Los Angeles and raised in Compton, CA. He has been a Dodger fan since he was introduced to the greatest sport of all time.
‘Eriq’ also has written a couple of baseball stories for another website here . Eriq has also talked Dodger baseball on a college radio show called LA Sports Weekly.
His second favorite thing in the world is rock and roll – and he owns his own website called xstaticradio.com as well as hosts/produces his own college radio show called X-Static Radio Live. You can also follow Enrique on Twitter Follow @eriqwiththeq
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Posted on May 17, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @eriqwiththeq on twitter, Atlanta Braves, brandon league, carlos quentin, chris capuano, colorado rockies, don mattingly, enrique rivera, hanley ramirez, Hyun-Jin Ryu, jerry hairston jr, jonathan sanchez, josh beckett, los angeles dodgers, mark ellis, matt cain, matt harvey, matt kemp, Matt Magill, milwaukee brewers, new york mets, nl west, san francisco giants, shelby miller, st louis cardinals, turner field, washington nationals. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Greinke Return Can Turn The Dodgers Season Around.