Zack Greinke and Dodgers’ Outfielders Listened

After I wrote today’s earlier post critical of the Dodgers’ recent play, especially critical of declining efforts from the team’s starting pitchers including Zack Greinke, and the overall poor play of the teams cadre of high-priced outfielders, Yasiel Puig in particular, Greinke went out and pitched a gem against the Giants, and the the Dodgers overpowered the Giants, 8-1, led by Puig who collected four hits, including three triples. As a team, they totaled five triples on the night, with Matt Kemp and Dee Gordon also recoding three-baggers.

Greinke pitched seven shutout innings, striking out 10, including four in the third inning, joining A. J. Burnett and former Angels’ star Chuck Finley as the only three pitchers in baseball history to accomplish that on more than one occasion. As to Puig, he became the

first Dodger to hit three triples in a single game in more than 100 years.

Puig collected his second triple in the fifth inning, and Kemp and Gordon also hit their tiples in the fifth, giving the Dodgers three triples in the one inning.

Sort of lost in it all was the return to the lineup of not just Puig, but also of shortstop
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Hanley Ramirez, after each suffered injured hands when hit by pitches from Cardinals pitchers, and the fact that Puig has now been installed as the Dodgers’ center fielder, perhaps (?) on a permanent basis. He and Matt Kemp, at least for now playing right field, were six-for-ten between them, with four triples, a double, and four runs batted in. However, the longevity of that outfield alignment also depends on the performance of still
slumping Carl Crawford, whose oh-for-four tonight lowered his batting average to ,242.

The Dodgers did most of their damage against Tim Lincecum, who over the last month had been pitching his
best ball in a couple of years. On June 3d, his ERA was over five, and before tonight’s game, it has gone down to 3.65, but that trend was severely reversed, as he was charged with six earned runs in 4-1/3 innings pitched. Perhaps it was not such a good idea for Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy to have used Lincecum in relief in Tuesday’s 14 inning game when he had a pitching shortage.

The lone highlight for the Giants was the fact that the game marked the 300th consecutive sellout in what is now called AT&T Park.

The dodgers are now just one-half game behind San Francisco, and with Clayton Kershaw going tomorrow, by this time tomorrow night, the best team money can buy might just be back in first place.

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