Matt Kemp and Zack Greinke gave us permission to exhale on Saturday night, injecting the Dodgers with a burst of hope by preventing a repeat of a catastrophic Game 1. For Kemp, who hit what would be the game-winning home run in the eighth inning, it was a triumphant high point following two years of rehab and rebuilding after his fateful collision with the Coors Field outfield wall in 2012.
Greinke performed masterfully, settling the frayed nerves of a pitching staff that surrendered 10 runs in Game 1. He pitched seven shutout innings, striking out seven and going 2 for 3 at the plate with a run scored in the third. A.J. stayed hot by starting the inning with a double, followed by a single by Greinke. Dee hit an RBI grounder and Greinke moved to second thanks to Mattingly's successful challenge of Kolten Wong's misplay. After a Puig strikeout (he went 0 for 4), AGon knocked Greinke in.
And that was it until the eighth, when Mattingly replaced Greinke with J.P. Howell, having already gotten lucky by extending Greinke through the seventh. Howell promptly gave up a single then a home run to that motherfucker Matt Carpenter, the score was tied, and Dodger fans were reliving the nightmare.
But Kemp rewrote the ending on the fourth pitch from Cardinals reliever Pat Neshek, Kenley came in for a much-needed 1-2-3 save, and this series is tied 1-1.
Breathe. In. Out. Game 3 is Monday in St. Louis and the Dodgers have a 49-32 road record this year. Breathe. In. Out.