After a tough 10-9 loss on Friday, the Los Angeles Dodgers will look to even the series up with a victory on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.
They will turn to right-hander Zack Greinke in what is now a “must-win” game.
Once again, we take a look at the three keys to victory for the Dodgers.
1. Zack Greinke Must Start The Game With A Scoreless Inning
Besides the eighth inning in which he’s had a limited sample, Greinke’s highest ERA comes in the first inning of games. He has a 4.50 ERA in the first inning of ballgames and leave the Dodgers in a hole right away. Against this Cardinal lineup, Greinke must be able to maneuver his way to a scoreless first inning and hope his offense can help him out.
Clayton Kershaw was unable to escape the first unscathed on Friday, although it was his seventh inning that did him in more than the first. If Greinke can get past the initial inning, then he will settle in and the Dodgers will be fine.
2. Keep Swinging
Despite the loss, the Dodger offense did put up nine runs and knocked 16 hits against Adam Wainwright and company. They will need to continue to swing hot bats if they plan on salvaging their initial two home games. A.J. Ellis was the breakout star in Game 1 and the Dodgers will need everyone to step up.
If the offense can repeat its’ performance, chances are the Dodgers will be fine. Usually, nine runs is enough to win a game with an All-Star caliber starting pitcher on the mound.
3. Don’t Attempt To Retaliate
Tensions ran high on Friday after Yasiel Puig was hit with a pitch and Adrian Gonzalez argued with Yadier Molina. Both sides were warned and Kershaw refrained from hitting any Cardinal hitter. Greinke has been known for protecting his teammates and could decide to throw inside, but it will not help. The Cardinals don’t need any more fuel to want to defeat the Dodgers, and vice versa.
The best way to retaliate is with a victory. Together, the team needs to play hard and tie this series up before heading to St. Louis.