The Padres played a very clean and hard fought game against the Dodgers and Cy Young candidate Zack Greinke tonight, but fell short 2-1.
Greinke was every bit the Cy Young dominant pitcher that he’s been all year going 8 impressive innings before handing the ball to Jansen in the 9th for the save. He cruised through most of the game with the biggest challenges from the Padres offense coming in the 5th and 6th. Austin Hedges saw one of the rare fastball mistakes in the zone tonight, and got to it sending a 420′ bomb in to the left center bleachers. In the 6th Spangeneberg and Solarte each singled to force Greinke to make some pitches with runners on base, but he rose to the challenge striking out the next two batters to snuff out the threat.
While the Padres offense was being generally shut down, the Dodgers offense was having a similar challenge trying to score runs against Robbie Erlin. The lefty was coming off a great outing five days ago against AZ, and carried that same successful formula into the game tonight. He made a mistake up in the zone to Turner who hit a solo HR in the 1st, then settled down. He did allow another run in the 4th on a pair of singles and a ground ball double play, then retired the next 10 in a row and final 11 of 12.
He showed for the second outing in a row that when he keeps his fastball down he can induce ground balls effectively. He didn’t have a consistent curve but the change up was used as a nice compliment to the fastball, and helped him to induce 10 ground ball outs. He made tough pitches when he needed to and more than held his own against one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. He can head into the off season knowing that he has enough right now to get MLB hitters out, and as is his curve ball consistency improves it will will only help to give him more breathing room with the heater.
The other Padres performance of note tonight was by Jedd Gyorko. Only one single and a walk in the scorebook, but he had some of the best at bats off Greinke tonight, getting good swings, fouling off tough pitches on the corners, and laying off out pitches out of the zone. He’s improved his mechanics and approach as a hitter this season, and it hopefully bodes well for his future and that of the Padres.
Final game of the season tomorrow! Can’t believe I just typed that…but game 162 is here. It will be a bullpen day for the Padres pitching staff with Garces starting it off and going as long as he can until all hands on deck cover the rest. First pitch for the finale is at 12:10, and Ted Leitner and I will be honored to have you join us for all the action on the Mighty 1090.
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