Sunday, June 14, 2015

Lack of offensive consistency continues to burn Greinke

One bad pitch, one long Justin Upton homer... and one more night without a win for Zack Greinke.

With two outs and a 3-2 count in the eighth inning, Greinke went to the well once too often, spinning a slider right over the plate that was deposited 410 feet into center.  Granted, that only made the score 2-1 Padres, but with the way the Dodgers are swinging the bats... well, you might as well have just called it 12-1.

So ya, the Padres beat the Dodgers 2-1.

Even more frustrating is the fact that Greinke has gone seven straight starts without a win.  Back on May 5, the Dodgers beat the Brewers 8-2, putting his record at 5-0 with a 1.56 ERA.  Well, he's gone 0-2 since then, but his ERA is still excellent at 1.95.

What's the problem, you may ask?  It's simple - the offense has largely done jack squat in those starts.  And as Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles points out, they're not exactly doing much to entice Greinke to stay in LA beyond this year.

Check out the run support in his last seven starts - 5, 1, 2, 2, 9 (Coors Field), 2, 1.  As you can see, five of those starts featured two runs of support or less.  For a team that is talking like they are true World Series contenders, that's pretty embarrassing to say the least.

In the month of June, the Dodgers are actually third in the National League with 59 runs scored.  The catch, however, is that four of those games were in Colorado, where they scored 29 runs in four games, or 7.3 per.  Since then, they've put up 30 runs in nine games against the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, and Padres, good for 3.3 per.  It's not hard to see that the Coors Field effect inflated the overall numbers.

The excuses about too many injuries have recently gone away as well.  Yasiel Puig, Howie Kendrick, and Yasmani Grandal are all back in the everyday lineup.  Puig has certainly hit well with a homer and four RBIs to go along with a .522 average in his six games back.  Kendrick and Grandal have each gotten big hits.

Who's not hitting well?  Adrian Gonzalez is truly a "peaks and valleys" type of hitter, and it's a valley right now.  He's hit .261 in June, but with only one homer and five RBIs.  Joc Pederson's production has plummeted to .209 with a homer, four RBIs, and 16 strikeouts, by far the most on the team.  Jimmy Rollins is at .175, which is unbelievably bad.  Andre Ethier has received a lot of praise for his great play this year, but in June, he's hitting .225 with two homers and seven RBIs.

Add all of that up, and it's pretty much an all or nothing type of team.  Sure, they'll hit the ball out of the yard, but when they don't, it's a whole lot of swings, and a whole lot of nothing to show for it.  That's the frustration of being a Dodger fan right now, and I'm sure Greinke feels it more than anyone.

We've all known since before the season even started that Greinke will probably opt out of his contract at the season's end, so that should not be a surprise if he does.  But it's nights like Saturday in San Diego - where he pitched excellently yet still lost - that make that decision just a little bit easier.

No comments: