Greinke can only watch as Cardinals rally

Greinke can only watch as Cardinals rally

LOS ANGELES -- After a loss to the Cardinals on Friday, Jimmy Rollins said he felt "snake-bit." Maybe Zack Greinke should feel that way, too?

Greinke and the Dodgers have seen this movie before. For the fourth time this season, Greinke gave the Dodgers a quality start, only to watch from the dugout as Los Angeles lost the game in the late innings.

On Sunday, Greinke threw 6 2/3 innings and made only one mistake all night -- a solo home run by Jhonny Peralta in the sixth -- but the Dodgers' bullpen allowed three runs in the eighth inning to drop the series finale to the Cardinals, 4-2.

"We haven't been nearly as consistent as we were early," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of his bullpen. "We've had some games that we've let get away from us, and we've got find a way to get the ball to [Kenley Jansen]."

With Jansen's 0.00 ERA and 6-for-6 save record awaiting in the ninth, Adam Liberatore walked Matt Carpenter to start the eighth, then Juan Nicasio gave up a double to Matt Holliday, a single to Peralta and a double to Mark Reynolds in the span of four hitters, resulting in three runs.

"It makes sense what [the Dodgers] did. Liberatore has been amazing getting lefties out all year," Greinke said. "The matchups made a lot of sense."

As crazy as it may sound, Greinke's 5-1 record hasn't done justice for how well he's pitched this season. Greinke is fourth in the NL with a 1.98 ERA and has allowed one run or fewer in nine of his 12 starts this season, including five of the last six contests. But he hasn't recorded a win since May 5.

On April 7, Greinke's first start of the season, he went six innings and allowed one run, departing the game with a 2-1 lead. However, Yimi Garcia blew the save and Chris Hatcher took the loss as the Padres piled on four runs in the ninth to win, 7-3.

On May 16, Greinke again threw six innings of one-run ball and departed trailing, 1-0. The Dodgers were held scoreless and the bullpen allowed six runs in the final three innings in the 7-1 loss.

On May 27, Greinke threw six innings, allowing one run, and left with the game tied at 1. But Hatcher allowed two runs in the eighth as the Braves snagged a 3-2 victory.

And then Sunday.

"The past two weeks, we haven't been playing our best baseball, in my opinion," Greinke said. "Just not everything clicking. It's been OK, but nothing has stood out as a positive. It's just been OK, and our record is probably close to .500 in the past two weeks."

The Dodgers are 10-14 since May 13 and have seen their lead in the National League West shrink to a half-game over the Giants.

To be fair, the Dodgers are 8-4 this season when Greinke takes the mound. But it's the ones that got away that will continue to hurt the Dodgers in the standings.

"We very easily could've won three of four," Mattingly said of this past series against St. Louis. "We let a couple games get away."

Steve Bourbon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.