Dodgers Pregame: Zack Greinke Has Been Early Season Ace

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After a frustrating 2-1 loss to the Giants at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night, Zack Greinke and the Dodgers look to take the rubber game on Wednesday night against their rivals. Clayton Kershaw, who is still great, lost to the Giants and Buster Posey who jumped on his first pitch. It was only the second home loss for the Dodgers this season so far, and Don Mattingly‘s squad would like nothing more than to stop the Giants in their tracks to get the series win.

Zack Greinke (3-0, 1.35) vs. Ryan Vogelsong (0-1, 7.71)

The bright side: no one got hurt Tuesday night. the injuries to the Dodgers have taken a toll, and luckily the roster depth has been able to overcome this so far. Carl Crawford was the latest Dodger to land on the disabled list with a torn oblique, and Alex Guerrero was manning left field for the first time this season in his place against Madison Bumgarner. Guerrero came back to Earth with a 0-for-3 night, and he will need to make adjustments at the plate as pitchers counter his bat with new strategies which Bumgarner and the Giants were able to do in Game 2.

Perhaps Clayton Kershaw is getting less sleep with a new baby at home, but Cali Kershaw’s birth should only inspire the reigning N.L. M.V.P. to dig deeper to make her proud. After all, Buster Posey is still one of the best hitters in the game, so I’m not too worried about Kershaw. It’s the back end of the rotation which concerns me, but that discussion is for another time.

The hair, the dimples, that arm. Zack Greinke has pitched fantastically for the Dodgers so far this season, and he will be vying for his fourth win on the season in his fifth start on Wednesday. It frightens me to even think about 2016 and whether Greinke will still be a Dodger, but for now I am going to just enjoy Donald Zachary Greinke while the Dodgers have him.

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Greinke is good. When he has a  2-0, 0-2, or 1-2 count, the opposition is hitting 0.00. He’ll be going for his fourth victory in a row. Last time out against the Padres, Greinke went 7 innings and allowed no runs and just 4 hits with 7 strikeouts and 3 walks in the shutout. Greinke has never lost to the Giants, and this will be his first time pitching against them this season. He is 5-0 against the pumpkin colored foes with a 1.99 ERA in 7 career starts.

Among qualifying starters, Greinke is third in the league in ERA (1.35), ninth in opposing batting average (.170) and third in WHIP (0.79).

Lineup:

Pederson CF
Rollins SS
Kendrick 2B
Gonzalez 1B
Van Slyke LF
Ethier RF
Grandal C
Uribe 3B
Greinke P

37-year old Ryan Vogelsong will be going to the mound for the Giants. The bearded right-hander is looking for his first win on the season, but the Giants did defeat the Dodgers at AT&T Park in his last start. He pitched 6 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits with 5 strikeouts and a walk in the no decision. He is 4-4 with a 5.10 ERA against the Dodgers in 24 career games (15 starts). He is 2-1 at Dodger Stadium with a 3.66 ERA in 9 games (6 starts).

Even thought the Dodgers have lost four out of five games to the Giants so far this season, they are still on top of the N.L. West by one game. The Giants are still in the cellar in last place and 3 1/2 games behind Los Angeles.

The all right-handed lineup didn’t seem to work against Madison Bumgarner in Tuesday’s loss, and Don Mattingly will surely go back to what has worked so far this year with Joc Pederson in center field, Andre Ethier in right field, Yasmani Grandal behind the plate and Adrian Gonzalez at first base.

Be sure to come back tonight for our postgame coverage. Let me know how many homeruns you think that the Dodgers will hit tonight in the comments section.

Go Blue!

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