Dodger Stadium went quiet in the first inning of Game 5 of the National League Division Series as Daniel Murphy’s RBI double gave the New York Mets a 1-0 lead. The Los Angeles Dodgers quickly responded however, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first to take the lead.
Unfortunately for the Dodgers, they wasted multiple opportunities to add to their lead, and wound up losing despite a strong effort by Greinke. As was customary throughout the season, Yasmani Grandal caught Greinke’s start.
Grandal’s availability for Game 5 was somewhat in question as he’d been battling a sore left shoulder since August. While Grandal’s presence changed A.J. ELlis’ role with the club, particularly with Greinke, Ellis still took time to share a strong message on the right-hander.
“He’s an ace, he’s an amazing pitcher. He really meshes well with guys in this clubhouse and he’s a winner,” Ellis said. “If you want to get to where you want to go, you want guys like that — him and Clayton leading the top of the rotation.
“Sometimes when you know what you’ve got, it’s better than what else is out there. We know what Zack is, we know what he brings, we know what he’s going to do on a start-in, start-out basis and we know how he’s going to carry himself in this clubhouse.”
Greinke’s future the Dodgers is uncertain given the opt out clause in his contract, which he’s expected to exercise and become a free agent after the 2015 season. His return is one Ellis emphatically supports.
“There’s no bigger advocate for Zack Greinke to return to this organization than I would be,” the 34-year-old catcher said. “It’s been an honor to be his teammate, and I’m really hopeful going forward him and I have a chance to continue to work together.”
Although the season ended in disappointment for the Dodgers, Ellis was proud of the club’s makeup, something he gave credit to Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins for helping foster.
“[Proud of] the professionalism we showed and the way we were able to fight and scrap all season long. Come-from-behind wins wasn’t something we did in 2014,” Ellis said. “It would seem like we were down but this team never gave up the fight.
“I’m going to remember this team for that and the way they competed. Jimmy and Howie really set a tone in Spring Training, and really gave us a firsthand example of how you’re supposed to play this game.”
As for the Dodgers’ NLDS loss to the Mets, Ellis had high praise for Daniel Murphy, whom he called “probably one of the most dangerous hitters in the series,” outside of teammate Justin Turner.