Zack Greinke, the Dodgers’ other ace pitcher, had a shutout through eight innings Monday against the Cubs.
So, of course, because of baseball’s old-fashioned, macho, unwritten rules, Greinke had to go to the hill for the ninth inning and try to get the shutout. Even though his pitch count was well over 100 and the Dodgers had a six-run lead.
Greinke couldn’t get the last out and was forced to throw a bunch more pitches. He finished with close to 125. Cripes.
The Dodgers brought in Brian Wilson, who got the last out. Dodgers 6, Cubs 2. But what I’ll remember about this game — especially if Greinke develops a sore arm in the weeks to come — is the needless ninth inning our starter was asked to pitch.
The Dodgers should have put Greinke on ice and used a relief pitcher to get the last three outs. We need to save his bullets for October, not a meaningless ninth inning in August. Dumb.
I wish the Cubs would have scored a run or two earlier in the game, so Grienke wouldn’t have felt pressure to finish his shutout in the ninth.