So that wasn’t fair. The Dodgers, baseball’s current world-beaters, took on the walking dead known as the Philadelphia Phillies.
The results were predictable, the Dodgers using the pitching of Zack Greinke and the hitting of Hanley Ramirez to beat Cliff Lee and the Phillies, 4-0, on Friday at Citizens Bank Park to push their lead in the National League West to a season-high 8 1/2 games.
And good luck, Ryne Sandberg.
Sandberg was named Philadelphia’s interim manager earlier Friday, the Phillies apparently deciding they had to blame someone for the 53-67 disappointment of a season, firing Charlie Manuel. You know, the guy who won more games than any manager in Phillies history, led them to five consecutive division titles and a World Series championship.
But these Phillies barely resemble those teams, and then Sandberg in his managerial debut had the misfortune of having to take this makeshift collection of the too young and too old into the buzzsaw that is currently the Dodgers.
With their latest victory the Dodgers have now won nine consecutive games, 41 of 49 overall, 18 of 19 on the road and 24 of 27 since the All-Star break.
Lee (10-6) actually pitched well, but a two-run home run in the fourth inning by his nemesis (Ramirez is eight for 16 lifetime against Lee with three homers) was all the offense Greinke and the Dodgers would need.
The Dodgers added a run in the seventh inning when A.J. Ellis walked and scored from first when sleepy-looking right-fielder Dominic Brown misplayed a Mark Ellis drive into a double that rolled to the wall.
Then just for fun, the Dodgers added another in the ninth inning when Ramirez singled, stole second and took third on a throwing error by catcher Carlos Ruiz. Ramirez scored on a single by Scott Van Slyke.
Meanwhile, Greinke (11-3) was cruising. He went 7 1/3 innings and gave up only three hits, although he walked four. Greinke has won seven of his last eight decisions, while Dodgers starters overall are 14-1 in their last 20 games.
Greinke left after giving up a one-out single and walk in the eighth, in what would prove the Phillies’ only attempt at a rally. Paco Rodriguez struck out Chase Utley but then walked Brown to load the bases.
Ronald Belisario came on to strike out rookie Darin Ruf to end the threat and continue the strong recent bullpen performances. Kenley Jansen completed the shutout with a scoreless ninth. He was denied his 20th save because of the Dodgers' run in the top of the inning.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun