The Los Angeles Dodgers have been lucky enough to have two starting pitchers with ace-like qualities in Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
Although Greinke came out of the gates, earning a win in five of his six starts, it would be nearly a month and a half before the right-hander would get his sixth win. In fact, in his nine starts between his sixth and seventh wins, he had two losses and seven no decisions despite pitching at least six innings in each start.
Kershaw, on the other hand, did not fare as well. In games in which Kershaw pitched and the Dodgers lost, the team scored three runs just two times. This season, when the Dodgers score more than three runs in support of Kershaw, they are 8-0.
So, when the Dodgers scored five runs by the third in for Kershaw on Wednesday, the team already knew they had a good chance of winning, as Kershaw leads the MLB in SIERA (Skill Interactive ERA) at 2.23, and xFIP (expected Fielder Independent Pitching) at 2.07.
Jimmy Rollins was part of that support for Kershaw, as he hit a three run home run in the bottom of the third inning. The shortstop believes that “getting him a W is what matters most. Him and Zack, they’ve been some tough luck pitchers this year. But that’s why they have that makeup to be No. 1’s. Win or lose they’re going to compete every single night and give you their best and it’s up to the team to give them some support.”
Greinke, who has been selected as an All-Star for his dominant performances, would surely love to see some of that run support as well. Much like Kershaw, the Dodgers are 7-0 when giving Greinke at least four runs of support. While that is a good record, it also points out that the Dodgers have scored three runs or less in 10 of his starts.
Rollins also added that he hopes the team can “make this a common thing between the two of them and the other guys,” and he can do his part by continuing to drive in runs.