After a confidence boosting two-game winning streak, the Dodgers look to secure the series win against the fourth-place Mets on Saturday evening at Dodger Stadium. After getting a couple of extra days rest, Zack Greinke is ready to make his start despite all the rumblings surrounding his sore elbow. Even though Greinke’s velocity hasn’t dipped due to his arm issues, his control has been hindering him from going deep into games when his pitch count rises too fast and early. Last time out against the Brewers, Greinke walked a season-high five batters through just five innings. He wasn’t involved in the decision, and still only allowed 2 hits through the 5 scoreless frames. The Dodgers still went on to lost the game versus Milwaukee, and they have lost the last three starts Greinke has pitched.
Zack Greinke (12-8, 2.75) vs. Jacob deGrom (6-5, 2.87)
Greinke faced the Mets once this season back on May 22nd at Citi Field. The Dodgers lost that game, although Greinke got a no-decision. Once again, Greinke only made it through 5 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits. Overall in his career, Greinke is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in 3 starts against the Metropolitans. Even though Greinke’s velocity hasn’t suffered, his elbow pains have certainly caused a ripple in his overall great year. He is 0-2 in August so far, and his ERA has risen from 2.27 in July to 3.50 in August. His SO/9 is down from month prior as well as his SO/W. Zack will have to fend off David Wright who has 3 hits against him in just 5 at-bats. Curtis Granderson is the only current Met to have hit a homerun off Greinke.
Rookie Jacob deGrom, the 26-year old right-hander from Florida, will be going to the mound for New York in his 17th career start. deGrom will be making his first start since landing on the disabled list with right rotator cuff tendinitis. Before he got hurt, deGrom was making a case for Rookie of the Year considerations with his solid first-year showing with the Mets. He has struck out 94 (first among rookie pitchers in the N.L.) in 100 1/3 innings. deGrom is second in the National League in ERA (2.87) amongst qualified rookie pitchers just behind his teammate Jeurys Familia who is at 1.97. He is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA against the Dodgers in his start against them earlier this season in New York. Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig hit a homerun against deGrom last time he pitched against the Blue. Hanley and Puig hit back-to-back homeruns in that win back in May.
The Mets have a 185-pitch count on deGrom, and they hope to keep him healthy so he can pitch through the end of the season.
The Dodgers also want to keep Greinke healthy through September, and for the Dodgers, hopefully through October. Greinke and Kershaw have been the double barrel aces at the top of the rotation whom have propelled this team, despite some shaky defense and inconsistent offense at times, to the top of the N.L. West. The Dodgers need Greinke to win a World Championship, and an
injury late in the season would be heartbreaking.
Justin Turner has been enjoying roughing up his old team which non-tendered him last year. The Dodgers, picking up Turner in the offseason, has surprisingly filled the void by the departed Nick Punto. Don Mattingly cited Turner’s versatility and ability to play multiple positions as well. He’s excelled as a starter as well as a pinch-hitter. Turner’s two-run homerun in the eighth inning of Thursday’s game against Tyson Ross, will definitely be on our annual Top 10 Dodger Homeruns of the Year post during the offseason.
The Dodgers have to finish the month strong before they go head-to-head against the red hot Nationals starting the first of September. San Francisco is gaining some steam as well, and the Giants have a three-game winning streak.