Pregame Thoughts: Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw duel for the first time
By Joseph Jacquez
Zack Greinke of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw were teammates for three seasons in L.A.
Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw has never liked facing his former teammates and friends.
Kershaw will try and block out Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke, but Greinke will embrace this experience and try and get a hit off his former teammate.
The two aces also have different takes on how to pitch. Greinke will judge opposing hitters swings and base his game plan off of that. The 33-year-old is the definition of a feel pitcher. On the other hand, Kershaw will throw his fastball and 12-6 curveball, even if opponents know what is coming.
After signing with Arizona, Greinke was hammered in his first start at Dodger Stadium, but he threw the ball with conviction and pitched well on the road overall in 2016.
Last time out against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field, Kershaw gave up back-to-back home runs for the first time in his career and took the loss. However, he has been almost unhittable at Dodger Stadium dating back to last May. Kershaw has surrendered just three earned runs in his last 68 innings in Chavez Ravine.
With the whole baseball world watching, both pitchers should throw the ball well. This is a matchup that has been circled on many calendars for a long time and with good reason.
Since the start of 2013, Kershaw and Greinke have combined for 129 wins. During that span, Kershaw has started 114 times and compiled an unbelievable 1.47 ERA. He simply does not beat himself. The three-time National League Cy Young Award winner and 2014 N.L. MVP does not walk people and rarely gives up home runs.
Greinke has a 2.31 ERA to start the season with 10 strikeouts and two walks and Kershaw has yet to walk a batter.
For the Arizona Diamondbacks, Paul Goldschmidt is a career .270 hitter in 37 at-bats with two home runs and eight RBI against Kershaw. Meanwhile, A.J. Pollock has hit .292 off the Dodgers ace with two RBI in 24 career at-bats.
In just eight at-bats off Greinke, Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager is hitting .625 with two long balls and four RBI. Justin Turner is a career .364 hitter off Greinke.
This starting pitching matchup is the most expensive in MLB history and it is safe to say that Manager Torey Lovullo’s club will have to play better defense.
What: Diamondbacks (7-3) at Dodgers (5-5)
When: 7:10 p.m.
Where: Dodger Stadium
Pitching Matchup: RHP Zack Greinke (1-0, 2.31 ERA) vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-1, 3.46 ERA)
TV/Radio: FSAZ/Arizona Sports 98.7 F.M.
Weather: 63 degrees at first pitch.
"Series Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers"