While Yasiel Puig's insanely hot start is hitting the skids, Hanley Ramirez is cruising right along and crushing anything he can get his bat on. He provided the Dodgers with the winning RBI in extra innings on Saturday in the Dodgers 3-1 victory over the Washington Nationals.
Zach Greinke held the Nationals to one run in six innings, but he definitely had to work hard to keep the game close since the Dodgers bats sputtered with him on the mound. He gave up seven hits and three walks, and put runners in scoring position in four of the six innings he pitched.
It was not until the sixth that a run scored against Greinke, a single from pinch hitter Roger Bernadina to score Chad Tracy. Before that run Greinke had pitched 21 scoreless innings going back to his last two starts.
In his six innings the Dodgers had just four hits, two from Hanley Ramirez and two from Greinke himself. Talk about doing it all, he now has .406 batting average to go along with a 3.36 ERA and 8-2 record.
The Dodgers got on the board in the top of the seventh. As Greinke's spot in the lineup came it was possible that he might get the chance to hit, since he was already 2-2 on the day, but Skip Schumaker was brought in as a pinch hitter.
Schumaker smacked a double to center field, and was immediately brought home on a single by Mark Ellis that Bryce Harper bobbled in left field.
The game remained tied 1-1 and went into extra innings when Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez hit back-to-back doubles to break the tie. Andre Ethier then scored Ramirez on a sacrifice fly for the insurance run.
Somehow they needed extra innings to score three runs, despite having a runner on base in every inning of the game. As a team they left 12 runners on base, and hit 2-11 with runners in scoring position.
One of the biggest culprits to the lagging offense lately has been Yasiel Puig. He went 0-5 with three strikeouts and was at bat with a runner on base each time, three of them in scoring position.
Puig and Ramirez were carrying the Dodgers for a while, luckily as Puig slumps, Ramirez continues to put up the numbers. In July Ramirez is 24-61 with 10 RBI and 10 extra-base hits for an outstanding 1.150 OPS.
The bullpen pitched another four scoreless innings, with Jose Dominguez, Paco Rodriguez, Ronald Belisario, J.P. Howell, and Chris Withrow all contributing to get the ball to their closer.
Kenley Jansen shut the door in the 10th with two strikeouts for his 11th save this season. It is amazing to watch Jansen pitch and simply dominate opposing batters. He has given up two runs in the last 12.1 innings with 18 strikeouts to two walks.
The Dodgers have now won or tied their last nine series, and go for the sweep tomorrow with none other than Clayton Kershaw, NL leader in ERA, on the mound to face the 12-4, Ryan Zimmerman.
Tweets from #Dodgers Nation
Greinke walked the tightrope, but at least he never fell off!
#Dodgers need to score some runs. Greinke's walkin the tightrope tonight.
— Mario Van Stache (@mvillarino80) July 21, 2013
Twitter is no place to be such a reasonable person, D-Sel...everyone else is crying to send Puig back to the minors!
Puig wasn't going to hit .400 all year but the fact that he is not showing more plate discipline is the problem #Dodgers
— D-SEL™ (@DodgerSEL28) July 21, 2013
This one hurts, ESPN. It hurts deep down.
Matt Kemp set to return to action tomorrow. Should be ready for the DL again by Tuesday.
— ESPN The Magazine (@ESPNMag) July 21, 2013
Well, Candace, Jerry is hitting .070 better than Scott in 2013...oh, you don't mean that kind of hot?
— Candace Parker (@CandacePParker) July 21, 2013