NLCS 2013: Zack Greinke Is Huge For Los Angeles Dodgers In Game 1

Zack Greinke

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

When the NLCS kicks off tonight between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals, it’s going to be a pitching matchup featuring Joe Kelly and Zack Greinke.

This is where Clayton Kershaw would have normally been pitching, but due to Don Mattingly‘s decision to pitch him on short rest in Game 4 of the NLDS, Greinke gets the ball tonight. These are the moments when Greinke needs to step up and claim his spot as the co-ace of this Dodgers squad.

Zack wasn’t at his best in Game 2 of the NLCS, and that was the only game that the Dodgers lost to the Atlanta Braves. He wasn’t terrible, but he also wasn’t good enough to get the victory either. His pitching matchup tonight with Kelly is a favorable one on his behalf.

He is going to have to come out from the first pitch he throws and be prepared for anything and everything, because the Cardinals’ lineup is good enough to beat him in the first inning if he isn’t prepared. The Dodgers’ offense is hot as of late, but that does not mean he should rely on them.

Greinke is good enough to pitch seven or eight strong innings in just about any game he starts, but his postseason resume isn’t much to get excited about. Game 1 is incredibly important in a series between two evenly-matched teams like this one, so it is extremely important Greinke gets the Dodgers a win, especially on the road.

If Zack gets the victory tonight, the Dodgers will be in the driver’s seat with Kershaw taking the mound in Game 2.

Michael Pidgeon is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for Rant Sports.com: “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter @PidgeonIsGod, or add him to your network on Google

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