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.
Justin Turner and Yimi Garcia collided in the infield, letting Wil Myers’ pop-up fall with two outs in the seventh inning. An error was charged to Turner on the play. (Associated Press photo)
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.
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:
Austin Barnes will remain on the Dodgers’ roster as the third catcher. (David Crane/Staff photographer)
The Dodgers activated catcher Yasmani Grandal from the 15-day disabled list prior to Saturday’s game and optioned outfielder Chris Heisey to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
That means Austin Barnes will remain with the Dodgers as a third catcher and utility infielder — for now, though manager Don Mattingly said there will be more moves coming soon.
“We have that split doubleheader (against the Rockies) on Tuesday,” he said. “Part of that process and thinking Barnes is also a guy capable of playing infield and catch, but also pinch-hit for the catching spot.”
Barnes was added to a major-league roster for the first time last Saturday. He collected his first major-league hit the next night.
“It’s good to see how this is played up here,” he said. “It’s just like any other baseball. It’s a good first taste. I’ve learned a lot from Ellis and (Grandal).”
ST. LOUIS — A.J. Ellis said that he’s never been ejected from a game, at any level of baseball, prior to Friday. That changed after Matt Carpenter walked in the bottom of the seventh inning of the Dodgers’ 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
By Ellis’ account, he drew the ire of home plate umpire Mike Winters for the way he was “presenting the ball” during Carpenter’s at-bat.
Their conversation, as Ellis recalled it: “He said, ‘the presentation was poor.’ I said the presentation doesn’t matter. He said ‘the presentation was poor.’ He just repeated himself. That’s what did it.”
The game was televised by MLB Network, and Ellis said that Winters was wearing a microphone specifically for the broadcast. If that audio exists, please pass it along — we couldn’t hear anything from the press box.
Winters told a Cardinals official after the game that Ellis’ ejection “was about balls and strikes. The rest of it stays private.”
Ellis said that he takes pride in his relationship with umpires.
“They probably have the toughest job in our sport,” Ellis said, adding that Winters is “a great man.”
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was ejected for arguing a called third strike against Andre Ethier in the top of the seventh inning.