The Dodgers pulled out their biggest comeback victory of the season on Monday night, so it was easier to live with starting pitcher Zack Greinke's short outing. But even allowing six runs on 10 hits in just over four innings wasn't enough to discourage Greinke or manager Don Mattingly.
"Last time I pitched terrible and the results were what they should have been. Today I felt pretty good, but the results didn't say that. Even the outs were hard outs," Greinke said. "I felt like I was throwing the ball well but they were hitting the ball hard."
Greinke allowed five doubles on the night and has allowed 11 runs and 19 hits in eight innings over his last two starts. But Mattingly saw a difference in stuff on Monday from Greinke.
"I never get too worried about Zack. He's going to compete and get to where he needs to get to," Mattingly said. "Even sending him back out there at 50-something pitches when he had given up six runs, you felt like he was going to get them out."
But after allowing a single to Howie Kendrick and a walk to Alberto Callaspo to open the fifth, Greinke's night was done. Matt Guerrier entered, got a double play ball and struck out C.J. Wilson to end the threat. The Dodgers bullpen combined to allow one run and five baserunners in five innings.
Greinke at this point is 2-1 with a 4.38 ERA through five starts, and has averaged just under five innings per start. But Mattingly feels his second ace will round into form soon.
"It's really been a backwards year from the beginning. He had the elbow thing going on, and he was pushing his way through spring training trying to get ready for his first start. Then two starts in we're at collarbone surgery," Mattingly said. "I feel like he's been behind the eight ball the whole year. But I do think he'll get where he wants to get to and he'll get where we want him to get to."
Greinke was happy that the team won.
"We haven't had many rallies like that, and down by a lot too. Down by one or two, it's one thing. But when you're down by a lot and come back on a good pitcher, it's a good sign," Greinke said. "I feel like we've been playing pretty good lately, not just today. We've been playing pretty well for a while. Not the best we can, but we've been playing pretty good baseball."
The Dodgers sent Hyun-jin Ryu to the mound on Tuesday night, the final game in Los Angeles before the Freeway Series shifts to Anaheim for two contests. Old friend Joe Blanton gets the call for the Angels.