Is Los Angeles Dodgers’ Zack Greinke Challenging Clayton Kershaw as Staff Ace?

By Kenny Bristow
Los Angeles Dodgers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Kershaw is the man on the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Right? The ace of the staff? The Cy Young Award winning left-handed good ol’ boy with the amazing stuff? The blue crew’s one and only All-Star?

All of the above are true. There is no question. And no one knows that more than free agent signee, Zack Greinke. He is very humble when choosing his words on the subject.

Greinke, a former Cy Young Award winner himself, tossed a complete game, two hit shutout on Saturday afternoon for his team. One day after Kershaw took a loss for the Dodgers against the very same team.

Kershaw is expected to challenge for a 20 win season year after year now that he has done it. Greinke was supposed to come in to Chavez Ravine and be a solid third—or fourth—option for manager Don Mattingly when the season began.

A funny thing has happened as the Dodgers’ season of bizarre has continued.

After Kershaw’s loss on Friday night, the southpaw sits at an 8-6 individual record, while Greinke after Saturday’s win moves to 8-2. Not pitting the two against one another… after all they are teammates, but Greinke is matching Kershaw game by game.

If not for his six-week stint on the DL, Greinke might have two more wins. He certainly hasn’t shown any signs of deteriorating as a top pitcher in the MLB since joining Los Angeles. The Dodgers, that is.

Kershaw hasn’t missed a beat for the blue crew. He really only has one stinker all season. His biggest problem, as far as wins goes, is that his team has given him virtually no run support.

Greinke suffered that same circumstance on Saturday as he was forced to pitch with a 1-0 lead almost the whole way. But he was grooving, as he shut down the Colorado Rockies allowing only two hits, one walk and striking out nine.

It was an ace type of performance—even if Greinke has no chance of being the Dodgers’ ace. At least for now.

Kenny Bristow is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for
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