MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Nats make Greinke work, but can't crack righty

Nats make Greinke work, but can't crack righty

LOS ANGELES -- On paper, it looked like right-hander Zack Greinke dominated in a 5-0 Dodgers victory over the Nationals on Tuesday night. Truth be told, the Nationals made him work for his 12th victory of the season.

Greinke threw 109 pitches and the Nationals had him on the ropes early in the game. Washington's biggest chance to score runs was in the second inning. They had runners on first and second with one out, but Wilson Ramos struck out and Michael Taylor lined out to third baseman Alberto Callaspo to end the threat.

By comparison, Greinke threw 119 pitches over eight shutout innings in a win over the Nats on July 19. The Nats didn't advance a runner past second against Greinke on Tuesday, finished the game 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position overall, and left eight men on base.

"He is tough. He has good stuff. He did a good job limiting damage by not letting us get any runs," Nationals outfielder Clint Robinson said about Greinke. "We hit some balls hard that didn't get in there for hits. And when we did get hits, we didn't capitalize on it."

Manager Matt Williams acknowledged that Greinke is a good pitcher who made quality pitches when he needed to on Tuesday.

"We couldn't do much against him, period, tonight. We had some opportunities," Williams said.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.