The Dodgers offense was silent without Yasiel Puig, but Zack Greinke didn't need much help. Greinke dominated by posting a complete game shut out with nine strikeouts, guiding the boys in blue to a 1-0 win over the Rockies.
Don Mattingly expected the Dodgers to boast two aces, yet Greinke hasn't even been the second best pitcher on the staff. Greinke can now claim co-ace status and is beginning to show why Magic Johnson and company gave the former Cy-Young $147 million. Requiring pitchers to be mistake free is unfair, just ask Clayton Kershaw, yet Greinke was exactly that.
Greinke's ERA dropped to 3.49 and now sports 16 consecutive innings without allowing a run. Through the first 4 1/3 innings, Greinke blew up the twitter world with possible perfect game updates. Savvy veteran Todd Helton broke up the possible historic performance with a sharply hit single to left field. Efficiency was the key for Greinke, as he threw only 14 pitches through two innings and ended up at 110 pitches..
Over the previous outings, Greinke struggles were due to command, and he solved the walk problem by surrendering one. In addition to the pinpoint location, Greinke blew up the radar gun at 93 MPH consistently and reached as high as 95 MPH. Greinke faced a dangerous no out runner on second situation in the eighth, but per usual on Saturday, he took care of business. Beyond silencing the Rockies lethal lineup, Greinke went 1-for-3 at the plate and even stole a base.
The Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood deserves headline kudos also. Hanley Ramirez drove in the games sole run in the first inning on a groundout. From then on, Chatwood went stride-for-stride with Greinke. Chatwood accumulated an impressive line of eight innings and one run. However, it simply wasn't good enough.
Elite teams overcome bad starts or offensive droughts, and the Dodgers did so Saturday.
The Dodgers head into the final game before the All-Star break looking to win the series 3-1 over the Rockies. Going into Sunday, the NL West foes are tied at six each on the year. Ricky Nolasco will make his home debut for the Dodgers against Colorado's Jhoulys Chacin.
Home runs: none
WP - Zack Greinke (8-2): 9 IP, 2 hits, no runs, 9 strikeouts, 1 walk
LP - Tyler Chatwood (5-3): 8 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 4 strikeouts, 2 walks