The Los Angeles Dodgers chased Adam Wainwright in the opener of the National League Division Series, only to see their ace come undone in the seventh inning and their ninth-inning rally fall short.
Now charged with the task of preventing the Dodgers from heading to St. Louis down two games to none is Zack Greinke, an ace in his own right. Greinke battled soreness in his right elbow, but finished the year 5-0 over his final seven starts.
The 17 wins Greinke posted this season surpassed his total from 2009, when he won the American League Cy Young Award, and set a career high. The right-hander faced the Cardinals twice this season and went 1-1 with his win coming at Dodger Stadium June 28.
In his career, Greinke has made four postseason starts against the Cardinals, all coming in the NLCS and two a piece with the Milwaukee Brewers and Dodgers. It hasn’t necessarily been a tale of success for Greinke, as he’s 2-1 in those starts, but with a 4.05 ERA.
Starting opposite Greinke is Lance Lynn, who finished with a 15-10 record and 2.74 ERA. Like Greinke, Lynn faced his NLDS opponent twice this season. He pitched just two innings, allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and suffered a loss.
Lynn was much improved in his home start against the Dodgers on July 18 as he threw six innings and picked up a win. Lynn appeared as a reliever in 10 postseason games in 2011, six more including two starts in 2012, and he started three of his eight postseason appearances in 2013.
The right-hander is a career 5-4 with a 4.81 ERA in the postseason. While those numbers leave plenty to be desired, Lynn went 2-0 and had a 2.45 ERA in two appearances (one start) against the Dodgers in the 2013 NLCS.
The Dodgers send out the same lineup that scored nine runs on 16 hits in Game 1, and the Cardinals’ differs slightly from Friday’s game as Koletn Wong replaces Pete Kozma at second base.
Among the Dodgers in the lineup, A.J. Ellis has the most at-bats agains Lynn and is 3-for-11 (.273) with two doubles and three RBIs.