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Daily Dodger in Review: No small feat, Zack Greinke delivers as expected

November 12, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers ace Zack Greinke finished the 2013 season with a 2.63 ERA, and a record of 15-4. The Dodgers advanced to the National League Championship Series where they were eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Dodgers ace Zack Greinke finished the 2013 season with a 2.63 ERA, and a record… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

ZACK GREINKE, 30, starting pitcher

Final 2013 stats: 15-4, 2.63 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, .234 opponent batting average, 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 28 starts (177 2/3 innings).

Contract status: Next season will be the second of his six-year, $147-million contract.

The good: He was as advertised, which was no small accomplishment considering his contract and having won a Cy Young Award. But Greinke gave the Dodgers the best one-two starters, along with Clayton Kershaw, in the National League. Was studious as expected. Had best winning percentage (.789) in the NL.

He became more effective as the season went on, finishing 13-3 with a 1.57 ERA in his last 16 starts. Knew how to finish a hitter; when ahead 1-and-2 in the count, gave up only seven hits in 85 at-bats (.082). With runners in scoring position, held hitters to a .202 batting average.

And, oh yeah, he could even hit (won the Silver Slugger for best-hitting pitcher after batting .328) and field (his last error came in 2010).

The bad: Sat out five weeks when he broke his left collarbone in a scuffle with San Diego's Carlos Quentin on April 11. Struggled somewhat when he first returned, posting a 4.84 ERA in his next 10 starts. After he worked himself back into shape, however, he was ace material.

What’s next: The Dodgers don’t expect much, just a full season like the way he pitched in the second half. Still appears to be in his prime.

The take: The Dodgers have to feel very good about their investment one year in. If he comes out of spring training healthy, he could be even better next season. And that was his second-best overall season, behind only his 2009 Cy Young Award-winning year (16-8, 2.18 ERA).

He was consistent on the mound, great with the glove and surprisingly effective with the bat. What’s not to like? His quirky personality was never a problem. He was very direct, but made himself available to the media. And his teammates seemed to love him, when he wasn’t trying to wrangle another trade with his NFL fantasy team.

All systems are go with Greinke, which is only good.

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