Dodgers @ Padres Sept. 22, 2013: Zack Greinke’s Incredible Year

September 22, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

petco_park_opener2013Just look at the top five of that lineup, please. Yasiel Puig. Carl Crawford. Hanley Ramirez. Adrian Gonzalez. Matt Kemp. That’s how it should look, and that’s without even considering Andre Ethier, who is likely to be back in the lineup on Tuesday.

It’s not all perfect, since Juan Uribe and Mark Ellis and A.J. Ellis are all out, and so it’s not exactly what you’ll see when the playoffs get started. But finally, after an entire season of fits and starts, we’re seeing something that resembles what this thing was supposed to have looked like from the beginning — and I think we all know how much of a difference it makes to have the main guys rather than Dee Gordon and Alex Castellanos and so on.

Dodgers
Padres
RF
Puig
LF
Amarista
LF
Crawford
SS
Cedeno
SS
Ramirez
RF
Venable
1B
Gonzalez
2B
Gyorko
CF
Kemp
1B
Medica
3B
Young
3B
Forsythe
2B
Schumaker
CF
Fuentes
C
Federowicz
C
Rivera
P
Greinke
P
Cashner

On the other side, Zack Greinke goes, and I’m starting to wonder how he’s going to rate in the Cy Young balloting. Clayton Kershaw is the obvious winner, of course, but Matt Harvey is going to be hurt in the voting by the elbow injured that ended his year early, and we’re just not hearing the buzz around Adam Wainwright that he really deserves.

Greinke’s working on a streak of ten consecutive starts without allowing two or more earned runs — and 13 of 14 — and if he does well over his final two starts, it’s possible that he ends up going 17-3 with an ERA around 2.55. I bring up the wins not because they really matter, but because voters will look at them, and to get to that point after missing so much time with the broken collarbone would be remarkable. (If wins mattered. Which they do not.)

Is that enough to get him into the top three? Top five? I plan on looking into the award races more deeply at another time, but at the moment I think my top three is probably Kershaw, Wainwright, and Jose Fernandez, though I haven’t yet decided how I’m going to weigh Harvey’s season. It’s possible that Greinke sneaks in there, however, and the fact that we’re even having this discussion given how his season got going is an accomplishment in itself.

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