Admit it: for about the first ten minutes of this game, you were nervous, right? Really nervous? You knew that Hanley Ramirez wasn’t going to be available, and that Yasiel Puig may not be at full strength after sitting out yesterday, and that Adam Wainwright is one of the toughest pitchers in the league. And then Zack Greinke had to go and allow a leadoff triple to Matt Carpenter — a double, really, and then Puig was charged with a throwing error — and, after allowing Carpenter to score on a fielder’s choice, long flyouts by Allen Craig & Matt Holliday.
You were worried then, and you were worried in the third inning when Greinke loaded the bases on a double, hit by pitch, and infield single after quickly retiring the first two.
As it turns out, “being worried” is for other teams, because all this team does is win. Constantly. Greinke wiggled his way out of that third-inning jam, and pitched into the seventh without allowing another run — and even then, you realize that the second run came in with Ronald Belisario on the mound and that Greinke’s seventh-inning single drove in the go-ahead run on his own. Greinke’s now hitting .405/.476/.459 on the season, which, yes please.
Greinke was helped along by some pretty nice defense, notably a Puig-to-Nick Punto-to-A.J. Ellis relay to stop a run at the plate, and fortunately the Dodger dugout managed not to erupt in flames after Puig was seen barking at Adrian Gonzalez in the fourth inning. (Gonzalez was on first and made it only to third on a Puig double, which Puig had hoped to stretch into a triple but couldn’t since Gonzalez had stopped.) The pair was later seen playfully hugging in the dugout, though I can’t imagine a rookie showing up a team leader like that is going to go over all that well off-camera.
We should also probably note that not only did Don Mattingly (wisely) avoid using the overworked Kenley Jansen in a one-run game, Paco Rodriguez pitched two scoreless innings for the save. Rodriguez gets overshadowed by all the firepower on this club, but he’s been one of the absolutely unsung heroes in this bullpen, really.
Anyway, the Dodgers win again because that is almost literally all they ever do. That’s 15 straight road victories, second only to the 1916 New York Giants; their streak come all in one stretch on a 20 game trip. When they take the field tomorrow, the last Dodger road loss will have been literally a month ago now, on July 6. Six games up on Arizona!