Culver City Observer -

Van Slyke, Greinke Add To Dodgers' Success


By Steven Lieberman

Observer Reporter

It was the Scott Van Slyke show at Dodger Stadium on Monday as he crushed a three-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Miami Marlins 5-3.

Van Slyke also wowed the crowd when he fired a strike from right field to home plate after catching Adeiny Hechavarria’s fly-ball and nailing Christian Yelich at the plate for the double-play to end a bases-loaded seventh inning.

“When I let it go, I knew it was going to be on line, but I was not sure how well I threw it because I was on the run,” Van Slyke said. “(Catcher) Yasmani (Grandal) walked off the field and made it pretty obvious he thought he got him. This was my best game as a major leaguer.”

Van Slyke, talking about his walk-off homer, also had this to say.

“I was looking hard, up,” he said of the 1-0 slider from Steve Cishek. “Luckily, he threw me a ball with the slider for the first pitch, and I got a pretty good look at it, and then he threw the next one over the plate.”

It might have been Van Slyke’s show, but another important variable in the Dodgers’ success so far this season is starting pitching ace Zach Greinke.

He started the game with a record of 5-0 and threw seven impressive innings allowing just one run with six hits, five strikeouts and two walks. He didn’t factor into the win – J.P. Howell was awarded the win – but remained unbeaten since August 9, 2014. In that same time period, Greinke has recorded a 1.95 ERA and this season holds a sparkling 1.52 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings.

After the game, Greinke talked about Van Slyke’s heroics.

“It was like, ‘Dang, he’s doing it all today,’” said Greinke. “Thinking about it, it seems like he was on base every time. He always does well in the outfield, but doesn’t get enough credit.”

And Dodgers manager Don Mattingly sang the praises of his ace starting pitcher after the game.

“Zach pitched good tonight, had a tremendous game,” said Mattingly. “During spring training, everything went wrong for him, but seems to be sharp now. His stuff has been good…good breaking balls and he can throw the ball wherever he wants it.”

And on another positive note, former Dodger and fan-favorite Dee Gordon, now a Marlin, received a warm welcome from the fans, extending their applause his first time at-bat and causing Gordon to pause and tip his cap.

Before the game, Gordon spoke about being back at Dodger Stadium.

“Happy to be back and welcomed with open arms,” he said. “Really grateful for the time I had with the Dodgers. It definitely made me a professional and made me a man.”

The Dodgers increased their division lead to five games on Tuesday as Andre Ethier went five-for-five, including a home run.


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