Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dodgers Go to Greinke in Big Game 5

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dodgers Go to Greinke in Big Game 5

Article excerpt

LOS ANGELES * One ace helped the Los Angeles Dodgers stave off elimination against the New York Mets.

Now their other one gets a chance to extend the playoffs in a winner-take-all Game 5.

Coming off Clayton Kershaw's stellar outing that tied the NL division series 2-2, Zack Greinke takes the mound on Thursday night against Jacob deGrom of the Mets.

DeGrom, the Game 1 winner over Kershaw, will pitch on full rest, just like Game 2 winner Greinke.

The Dodgers are trying to advance to the NL championship series for the first time in two years. The Mets are seeking their first playoff series win since 2006, also the last time they were in the postseason.

The winner takes on the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS at home starting Saturday.

Fittingly, the Dodgers' season could either be prolonged or end on back-to-back appearances by Kershaw and Greinke, whose arms propelled them to a third consecutive NL West title and a franchise- record third straight playoff appearance.

"They've given us two guys that stop streaks, save your bullpen, are just day-in, day-out consistent guys," manager Don Mattingly said by phone Wednesday when both teams traveled back to Los Angeles. "You can really count on what you're going to get from them 90-something percent of the time."

With Greinke and deGrom squaring off again, Kershaw says the series is "dead-even."

"As good as Zack is and has been the whole year, deGrom has been the same, so there's really no home-field advantage when you're facing a guy like deGrom," he said. "We saw that in Game 1. He's just very impressive, just very tough to square up. If you can get strikeouts on heaters like he can, it's really tough."

Greinke has pitched at least six innings in all 33 of his starts with a 1.66 ERA that led the majors. As one of two righthanders on the Dodgers' postseason roster, he has allowed two or fewer runs 27 times.

He came up big in the only other elimination game of his career, winning Game 5 of the 2013 NLCS against St. Louis, which led the series 3-1. Greinke allowed two runs in seven innings to force a sixth game, which Kershaw started and lost 9-0 to end the season. …

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