WASHINGTON, D.C. — Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal left in the sixth inning of Sunday’s game against the Washington Nationals after he was hit in the mask with a foul tip off the bat of Michael Taylor.
A.J. Ellis caught the final four innings.
Grandal was unable to open his jaw for a time, and was still experiencing pain and swelling in his temporomandibular joint when he spoke after the game.
“It’s hard to bite down,” he said. “I don’t usually get out of games. I’ve gotten hit more than enough times in my jaw and taken a lot of hard hits. It’s basically what the jaw did more than anything else — it went back and to the side. I felt more like a crack.”
X-rays did not reveal any broken bones, but Grandal will undergo a CT scan in Atlanta before he’s cleared. The Dodgers could recall a player from the minor leagues Monday, or at least have one on standby just in case.
“I just got scared, just because when I messed up my knee I messed it up here,” Grandal said, referring to the torn ACL he suffered in July 2013. “When I play here, my anxiety is out of proportion. I’m trying not to do anything crazy just so I can get out of here healthy.”
“It could’ve been dangerous for us and it still can be,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Maybe we dodged a bullet.”
Zack Greinke‘s 1.48 earned-run average leads all major league pitchers by a wide margin — more than half a run better than Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett (1.99). Over the weekend he was officially chosen to the National League roster for the All-Star Game next Tuesday in Cincinnati.
Just prior to the announcement, I asked Greinke if he felt like he deserved to start the game. He declined to answer. So did second baseman Howie Kendrick, who’s been Greinke’s teammate in Los Angeles and Anaheim.
Wednesday, Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis volunteered an opinion.
“He’s earned the right with his performance to start next Tuesday’s game,” Ellis said.
Greinke is third in the majors in WHIP (0.89) and his .778 winning percentage is sixth. His record would certainly be better than 7-2 with better run support. The Dodgers are scoring only 3.71 runs per game Greinke starts. Only 16 qualified National League pitchers get less.
SAN DIEGO — The 2015 Dodgers are an interesting baseball team.
Clayton Kershaw struck out 11 batters in 6 ⅔ innings tonight. He got hit by a line drive. He gave up a home run to Clint Barmes, of all people. He threw more pitches than he’s thrown all season. This was a minor subplot.
(Watch Kershaw’s postgame interviews here.)
Alex Guerrero had one plate appearance. He fell behind 0-2, took a pitch in the dirt, then did something he’s done often enough this year to make you forget he’s a rookie, dumping a pinch-hit single into center field to win the game. Again: not the most compelling aspect of the Dodgers’ 4-3 win.
This is a team capable of making the extraordinary look completely ordinary, then turn around and look so fallibly human, like when Justin Turner and Yimi Garcia collided in the infield, A.J. Ellis ran the bases, and Adrian Gonzalez lost his cool:
— Brady Phelps (@LobShots) June 13, 2015