After dropping Game 1 of the National League Division Series to the New York Mets, the Los Angeles Dodgers look to even the series by sending Zack Greinke to the hill in Game 2.
The 32-year-old right-hander had a stellar regular season, where he put together a 19-3 record to go with a Major-League best 1.66 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. Additionally, Greinke finished with a 2.76 FIP and 225 ERA+.
Greinke’s regular season campaign may have secured him a second CY Young Award, but at this point in the season individual accolades are trumped by the pursuit of a World Series title. He’s has had mixed results in trips to the postseason over his career with the Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and Milwaukee Brewers.
The 31 year old is 2-2 with a 3.63 ERA over seven postseason starts. However, Greinke’s last playoff start was a shutout effort as he threw seven innings, which also came in a Game 2 of the NLDS after the Dodgers lost the opener to the St. Louis Cardinals.
In two starts against the Mets this season, Greinke went 1-0, with a 1.29 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. In 14 innings of work, he allowed just two runs, gave up eight hits, and walked three. The Mets counter Greinke with a 22-year-old rookie Noah Syndergaard.
Syndergaard is making his postseason debut and looking to put the Dodgers in a hole prior to the series shifting to Citi Field for Game 3, and a potential Game 4. Syndergaard went 9-7 with a 3.24 ERA, 3.25 FIP, and 1.04 WHIP.
On July 3 at Dodger Stadium, he tossed a gem against the Dodgers, though didn’t earn decision. In six innings of work, Syndergaard allowed one run on two hits, and had six strikeouts to two walks. The only Dodger on the roster to record an BI against Syndergaard is Adrian Gonzalez, who hit a solo home run in the July game.
Gonzalez is coming off a night in which he went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts against Jacob deGrom; though the Dodgers’ first baseman was responsible for the club’s only run as he scored Howie Kendrick on an RBI single in the eighth.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly likened Syndergaard to deGrom, pointing to both pitchers being young with power arms. Justin Turner expanded on the comparison to add he expects Syndergaard to utilize his changeup agains right-handed batters.
Howie Kendrick bats leadoff in a game he starts for the 26th time in his career, but first with the Dodgers, and first since June of 2014. He’s followed by Corey Seager, Gonzalez and Justin Turner in the top half of the lineup. Kiké Hernandez returns to center field in place of Joc Pederson, and bats eighth.
2B: Howie Kendrick
SS: Corey Seager
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
3B: Justin Turner
RF: Andre Ethier
LF: Carl Crawford
C: Yasmani Grandal
CF: Kiké Hernandez
P: Zack Greinke
RF: Curtis Granderson
3B: David Wright
2B: Daniel Murphy
CF: Yoenis Cespedes
1B: Lucas Duda
C: Travis d’Arnaud
LF: Michael Conforto
SS: Ruben Tejada
P: Noah Syndergaard