Going into the 2015 season Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw was considered by many to be the Cy Young favorite as he has won it three of the last four years. But Kershaw got off to a slow start, and his teammate Zack Greinke came out of the gates blazing, putting himself in the Cy Young conversation.
Greinke made his last start of the season on Saturday, allowing one run on four hits in eight innings while striking out eight, giving him an even 200 punchouts on the season. While the total gave Greinke consecutive seasons with at least 200 strikeouts, it wasn’t something he’s focused on.
“This year I didn’t pay attention to strikeouts at all,” Greinke said. “In year’s past it would be a big deal, but I didn’t really pay attention to it this year. I just was trying to get outs, that’s all I really paid attention to.”
On the season Greinke finished 19-3 with an MLB-best 1.66 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. He also posted a 2.76 FIP and a career-high 225 ERA+. When asked about his career season, the 31 year old had a simple reason for it. “I probably made pitches better than any year before. I feel like the last three years have been pretty consistent. This year is probably a little better,” he said.
Saturday night’s 2-1 win over the San Diego Padres clinched home-field advantage for the Dodgers in the National League Division Series when they will take on the New York Mets. Greinke downplayed the importance of having home-field advantage, but believes it’s beneficial.
“I think it definitely helps. It’s not a deciding factor, but it definitely helps,” he said. With Kershaw likely starting Game 1 of the series, Greinke should get the ball in Game 2 and square off with Mets’ rookie Noah Syndergaard.