Los Angeles Dodgers fans are witnessing something that not most baseball fans get to experience. Few professional baseball teams have a number two starter in their rotation that could be an ace on other major league teams. The brilliance of Clayton Kershaw has overshadowed the dominance that Zack Greinke has shown in his time in Los Angeles.
Greinke has flown relatively under the radar as he continues to show why he is worth the big money the Dodgers gave him. In 32 starts in the 2014 season, the right-hander was 17-8 with a 2.71 ERA. He was voted an All-Star after having a dominant first half while Kershaw was recovering from an injury.
Greinke ended the season fifth in wins, fifth in strikeouts and eighth in ERA in the National League while being behind the best pitcher in baseball. The tandem of Kershaw and Greinke have only lost back-to-back games once while together in the starting rotation.
On September 13, the Dodgers found themselves at AT&T Park facing off against the San Francisco Giants, fighting for playoff position and for the chance at winning the NL West. The Dodgers were in desperate need of a victory in order to gain some distance from the Giants and were relying on Greinke to do the job.
In what turned out to be a historic blowout for the Dodgers, the team played like a well-oiled machine and came away with a 17-0 victory. Greinke went six innings, allowed four hits, and racked up five strikeouts. The whole team chipped in on the scoring spree and that includes Greinke. In the sixth inning, the former Silver Slugger launched a two-run home run to record his first home run of the season.
Although Greinke signed a contract through the 2018 season, he can elect to become a free agent after the 2015 season. The 31-year-old is set to make $25 million this season and has shined in the lights of Los Angeles. Widely regarded as the best number two starter in Major League Baseball, Greinke has put up All-Star numbers each season and has proven to be a big game pitcher.
Dodger fans can expect much of the same from Greinke next season as he looks to dominate alongside Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu to lead the Dodgers to a third straight NL West title.