RHP Kenta Maeda (14-9, 3.28 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and RHP (and old friend) Zack Greinke (12-6, 4.54 ERA) goes for the D-Backs. It’s hard to believe Greinke’s ERA is nearly three runs higher this year than it was last year when he pitched for the Dodgers. He’s gone against them twice this year with vastly different results. On September 5 he gave up eight runs on five homers to them in just 4 2/3 innings, while on June 13 he gave up only two runs in 7 2/3 innings and got the win. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have won seven of Maeda’s last nine starts. He’s pitching on four days rest for the first time since August 9, which may have an impact on him.
Tonight's lineup: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Grandal C Reddick RF Kendrick LF Pederson CF Maeda P
Today sees Zack Greinke’s (12-4, 4.17 ERA) return to Dodger Stadium to face Kenta Maeda (13-8, 3.38 ERA). Greinke beat the Dodgers in Phoenix on July 13 while Maeda has seen the D-Backs four times this year, going 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA with 20 strikeouts against just three walks. He’s been on a roll recently, going 5-1 in his last seven starts while posting a 3.71 ERA.
Scoreboard watch: the Giants play the Rockies in Denver at 1:10PM PT.
In case you missed it, here’s a great throw (Pederson) and tag (Utley) from yesterday’s game:
Zack Greinke (8-3, 3.84 ERA) faces his former team for the first time, but he faced them before he ever became a Dodger too. He was 2-0 with a 2.52 ERA against them before 2012. Greinke has won five straight starts. He’ll be opposed by Mike Bolsinger (1-3, 5.75 ERA), who has yet to go past the sixth inning in any of his four starts.
Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Gonzalez 1B Thompson RF Pederson CF Grandal C Van Slyke LF Bolsinger P
The Dodgers were expected to spend WHATEVER IT COSTS to retain the services of Zack Greinke. Absent Greinke, or maybe even with Greinke, the Dodgers were expected to acquire one of the other big-time pitchers out there: David Price or Johnny Cueto.
Greinke signed with the Diamondbacks, Price with the Red Sox, and Cueto with the Giants. Ergo, the Dodgers had (or are having) a lousy winter. Right?
Before exploring that question in some detail, we should start with this salient fact: The Dodgers won 92 games last season.
Thank you, Mr. Neyer. The pundits and fans do somehow forget the team has won three titles in a row, and only two of them were Greinke-aided. It can survive without him.
Neyer points out that the Dodgers re-signed Anderson, who was pretty good and figures to be close to that again. They signed Kazmir, who figures to be better than Anderson. They signed Maeda, who only has to be an average pitcher for him to replace the 12 guys who tried to fill that role at the back end of the rotation last year. They also still have Wood, who’s young and whose history is better than his performance with the Dodgers last season. They’ll get Ryu back, and we don’t know yet how complete his recovery might be. Finally, they’ll get McCarthy back mid-season, and if he’s recovered most of his form that will be the equivalent of getting a mid-season trade for a starter done without giving up a player or two.
Neyer thinks the Dodgers will be pretty good this season. So do I.
Now that the Red Sox have gone berserk with their money and given 30-year-old David Price a contract worth $217 million over the next seven years, how much will the Dodgers have to bid to retain Zack Greinke’s services? He might get the same annual compensation as Price but for a shorter time period, since Zack is 2 years older.
Zack Greinke now expected to sign with #Dodgers or #Giants by the end of the week on a 5- or 6-year deal. The #Dodgers still the favorites
No new hire to replace Mattingly yet. I suspect (hope?) the Dodgers won’t step on the World Series by announcing a new manager in the midst of the games. Remember 2007 when Scott Boras announced that Alex Rodriguez, his client, was going to opt out of his contract with the Yankees in the middle of Game Four?
Should the Dodgers keep Puig? Will they sign Greinke? Can Pederson find a hitting stroke? Who’s gonna play second base? Will Ryu, McCarthy and possibly Arroyo recover? Can Alex Wood become an effective pitcher? Will Bolsinger improve?
Buster Olney of ESPN offers up seven things the Dodgers should do this off-season.
Re-sign Zack Greinke, no matter how much he wants or how long he wants it for
Decide on Mattingly’s fate
Add another deluxe starting pitcher
Decide Puig’s fate.
Keep Howie Kendrick
Shore up the bullpen
Change the clubhouse culture
On Puig: Olney reports that on the day Puig started in the series against the Mets he caught the last bus from the hotel, he didn’t start the stretch period with the rest of the team and he didn’t take as many cuts in the batting cage as usual. He thinks the Dodgers need to decide whether Yasiel’s “quirks” can be lived with and if so, they need to get the other players to learn to live with them too.
Well, maybe. From what we’ve read in the media Puig does seem to have a little trouble with clocks, but he’s shown nothing to me that would indicate he’s not a team player.
On clubhouse culture: He says some players felt “unsettled because for others besides Kershaw and Adrian Gonzalez and a handful of others, there was no sense about who might be headed out the door and who might arrive. Some players spoke about a diminished sense of investment in each other.” Olney then says the Giants, Cardinals and Pirates all exude mutual respect and esprit de corps, and the Dodgers don’t have it.
Who’s to say? He’s certainly in a better position to know that than am I. I can certainly understand if some of the everyday players whose names no one but fans know might feel like they’re parts to be slotted in from day-to-day.
If you’ve got an Insider account at ESPN you can read the whole thing.
“This one’s for all the marbles.” “Win or go home.” “There’s no tomorrow for one of these teams.”
Those are clichés for a reason: they’re all true. Banal, trite, and eye-roll inducing, but true.
The Dodgers ask Zack Greinke to do what he’s done all year: hold the other team to fewer than three runs as he did in all but two starts and score more than that themselves. The Dodgers will have to get those runs off Jacob deGrom, who’s got a 3.66 ERA in three regular season starts against them, which shows he can be reached. In Game One, though, he was nearly unhittable, striking out 13 in seven shutout innings.
Turner is probable to start while Grandal is 50-50.
Lineup when available.
NLDS GM 5 #Dodgers lineup:
Down 1-0, the Cubs hope to bounce back with right-hander Kyle Hendricks (8-7, 3.95 ERA) going against the Cardinals’ lefty Jaime Garcia (10-6, 2.43 ERA). They would really like to see their Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Kris Bryant break out of his 3-for-30 slump in his last eight games. He’s never seen Garcia, but then only Starlin Castro of the Cubs has: the last time Garcia pitched against Chicago was in 2012. The Cardinals have seen quite a bit of the Cubs’ Hendricks, and some of them have done quite well against him.
The Dodgers send Zack Greinke (19-3, 1.66 ERA) to stop the Mets and their rookie righthander Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.24 ERA). The Dodgers’ hitting is not firing on all cylinders, and some of that can be laid at the feet of the Mets’ de Grom last night. They have to get untracked today or they go to New York down two games to none with the prospect of having to win three straight to advance to the NLCS.