Zack Greinke threw 6.2 innings Saturday night en route to picking up his second win of the season and adding to his impressive record against National League West opponents since joining the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The win was the Dodgers’ sixth straight, left them in sole possession of first place in the division and set the stage for them to complete the three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies on Sunday. While Greinke largely quieted the Rockies’ bats, he was complimentary of their lineup in during a postgame interview.
“Just looking at it today, I would think that’s probably the toughest lineup in the National League, Greinke said. “Maybe our lineup is up there with it, but I mean it’s pretty good. Especially when you have [Corey] Dickerson, who was batting sixth today. He’s probably as good as anyone in baseball batting sixth. So yeah, it’s a pretty tough lineup.”
Greinke limited the Rockies to just one run heading into the seventh inning. Nolan Arenado hit a leadoff double, benefitting from Andre Ethier misplaying the ball, and Greinke then got Dickerson to line out before a visit to the mound from manager Don Mattingly.
Greinke convinced Mattingly to leave him in the game and rewarded his manger by striking out Nick Hundley. However, DJ LeMahieu followed with a two-run home run that cut the Dodgers’ lead to 4-3 and knocked Greinke out of the game.
The Rockies infielder was a player Greinke singled out during his praise. “Then LeMahieu I guess is batting .500 right now, which I don’t think he’ll bat .500 the whole year,” he said. “But if he’s your eight hitter, that’s pretty tough.”
LeMahieu’s home run came on a Greinke fastball, which the right-hander said he threw by design but missed with the location. Greinke noted his studying of LeMahieu revealed he’d never hit a home run on a fastball from a right-hander… Until Saturday.
The Rockies historically are one of the league’s best hitting teams, aided by playing their home games in the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field. They entered the weekend series riding a six-game road winning streak, but were stopped in their tracks by the Dodgers, who currently are one of the hottest teams in the NL, led by Adrian Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick, whom Mattingly referred to as a “dynamic duo.”