Zack Greinke, what a mensch. With 119 pitches, technically on three days' rest after starting the All-Star Game, Greinke out-dueled Max Scherzer, whiffing 11 Nationals in the process. Greinke looked like he could have sat down after seven strong innings and a tenuous 1-0 lead, but with the pitcher's spot coming up first in the top of the ninth inning, Greinke held on to pitch the eighth and sat Ian Desmond and Michael Taylor down on strikes, and then got PH Tyler Moore to ground out. Greinke improves to 9-2 and his scoreless streak is 43.2 innings, fourth-longest since 1961 for the Dodgers.
And then, in the top of the ninth, the Dodgers erupted. Justin Turner led off the inning (I still don't understand why Mattingly "gives a player the day off", and then inevitably has them come in late in the game anyway) with a single on an 0-2 count, and then Joc Pederson singled on an 1-2 count. I think the radio broadcast said the Dodgers were 0-for-9 with RISP prior to the ninth (Andre Ethier scored in the fourth on a Scherzer wild pitch during an Alberto Collaspo AB), but this time, the floodgates opened: ten men came to the plate (technically nine men, since Turner came up twice); and Ethier, A.J. Ellis, and Yasiel Puig each had RBI to open up a 5-0 lead. Puig's 2-RBI single was especially fitting as it came on a 2-2 count having struck out four times in the game prior.
Collaspo was 1-for-5 with 2 Ks and 4 LOB, trailing only Puig and Ethier in LOB (but both of them ended up delivering RBI, unlike Collaspo). He is batting .217. He should not be playing.
Jimmy Rollins was 0-for-4 with 1 K and 3 LOB. Rollins is batting .206. Dee Gordon is batting .338, third-best in the majors. I'm just saying.
The only blemish was Yasmani Grandal, who was knocked out of the game (almost literally) by a foul ball to the mask in the bottom of the sixth inning. Let's hope Grandal, who left the game immediately, is okay. And the series win came in handy, as the Giants swept the D'backs; division lead is at 3.5 games as we go to Atlanta, while San Francisco gets the cushy scheduling of San Diego. (The Dodgers don't see another NL West opponent until August 31.)