Results tagged ‘ Zack Greinke ’

The 20 most pivotal regular-season moments in Los Angeles Dodger history

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Tommy Lasorda hugs R.J. Reynolds after the rookie’s unforgettable squeeze, whose 33rd anniversary is Sunday.

By Jon Weisman

Every Dodger fan is targeting the World Series, but you can’t get there without some regular-season magic.

The Dodgers have seen plenty in their 49 Southern California seasons, both in their favor and against them.

For good and for bad, here (in this Dodger Insider magazine story) are the ups and downs, the highs and lows — the 20 most pivotal regular-season moments in Los Angeles Dodger history.

Read the entire story by clicking here.

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Beginning this year, the Dodgers merged their previously separate Playbill and Dodger Insider magazines into one publication (at least 80 pages per issue) with a new edition available each homestand plus one in October, 13 issues total. It is distributed at auto gates (one per vehicle) and via Fan Services for those who use alternate transportation. Dodger Insider magazine includes news, features, analysis, photos, games, stadium information and more. Fans who wish to subscribe for 2017 can do so at dodgers.com/magazine

Homer-happy Dodgers make it rain against Greinke

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Adrián González, Corey Seager and Yasmani Grandal hit three of the Dodgers’ five homers. (Photos: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Image-1-2By Jon Weisman

In distance, they measured 2,025 feet. On the Richter scale, they might as well have been a 10.

Zack Greinke, the darling of Dodger Stadium for three seasons, was punished in his former home like a Rock’Em Sock’Em Robot.

Five home runs off Greinke — a career-high, including four in the fifth inning — shook Chavez Ravine and sent the Dodgers to a 10-2 victory over Arizona tonight.

With San Francisco shut out in Colorado today, Los Angeles leads the National League West by a season-high four games.

The Dodgers’ five leaders in home runs each took Greinke deep — Adrián González (17) with a man on base in the fourth inning, followed by Joc Pederson (20), Corey Seager (24, with two aboard), Justin Turner (25) and feature creature Yasmani Grandal (24).

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The Dodgers and baseball’s unbreakable streaks

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Harry How/Getty Images

By Cary Osborne

Fifty-six. Fifty-nine. Eighty-four. Twenty-six thirty-two.

They might as well be the winning lottery numbers, because the chances of anyone in baseball surpassing any of those is just as probable.

Those numbers represent four of baseball’s most unbeatable streaks — Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak, Orel Hershiser’s scoreless-innings run, Eric Gagné’s consecutive saves record and Cal Ripken’s consecutive games-played streak.

What did it take to set them? Can they be broken? How can they be broken?

We can answer those questions.

Orel?

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One run the difference again for Dodgers

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By Jon Weisman

Zack Greinke didn’t exactly dominate the Dodgers, least of all Corey Seager, who had a single, walk and career-best 440-foot home run off his former teammate.

But Greinke was one run better than Mike Bolsinger, who gave up two solo homers of his own — and then a tiebreaking score in a fifth inning that began with a Greinke single. That meant in the Dodgers’ sixth consecutive one-run game, they lost for the third straight time, 3-2.

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Dodgers carry streak of one-run games into reunion with Greinke

Zack Greinke on the mound against the Dodgers. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Zack Greinke on the mound against the Dodgers. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian González, 1B
Trayce Thompson, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Mike Bolsinger, P

By Jon Weisman

The more things change … the more things change.

Zack Greinke faces the Dodgers tonight for the first time since he came with the Milwaukee Brewers to Los Angeles on May 31, 2012. That night, the Dodgers offered this starting lineup:

Elian Herrera, CF
A.J. Ellis, C
Bobby Abreu, LF
Andre Ethier, RF
Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B
Adam Kennedy, 3B
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Dee Gordon, SS
Chad Billingsley, P

One of those Dodgers is in tonight’s starting lineup. Another is on the bench. A third is on the disabled list. That, plus Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen, is all that remains to link that Dodger team and this one, four years later.

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Coming to terms with baseball and change

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By Cary Osborne

Maybe this is part of my own healing writing this.

I grew up during the time of Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken. One man has a statue outside of Petco Park that reads “Mr. Padre.” The other is arguably more significant to the city of Baltimore than Edgar Allen Poe.

They were the ideal Major Leaguers to me — players who were stars, who you never feared would be traded or leave as a free agent. Players who started and ended their baseball careers in the same place.

Sandy Koufax poses for a portrait circa 1962. Photo by Louis Requena/MLB Photos

Sandy Koufax poses for a portrait circa 1962. Photo by Louis Requena/MLB Photos

Before them, Ted Williams was only a Red Sock, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio were only Yankees, and Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale were only Dodgers. And the thought of them in any other uniform is sacrilegious.

But I learned that they are the exception and not the rule. More often than not, our favorite players eventually end up leaving our favorite teams. And it’s not easy to stomach.

I hurt when Mike Piazza was traded. I was sad to see some recent players go. And I mentioned earlier that I grew up during the Gwynn-Ripken era. That was also the same period when I saw Orel Hershiser wear a Giants uniform and Fernando Valenzuela was an Angel and a Padre.

Now we’re in a more urgent era, where there is more equity in baseball, and competition off the field makes the game ever-evolving. Hence, the following:

There are only four players in the big leagues who have been on the same team since 2004 — Joe Mauer, David Wright, Ryan Howard and Yadier Molina. And there are no players from the 2011 Padres, Diamondbacks or Cubs who are on their current rosters.

From that 2011 season, only Andre Ethier, Clayton Kershaw, A.J. Ellis and Kenley Jansen remain on the Dodgers. Since 2006, Ethier’s first season, he has played the most games of any Major League outfielder for the same team. Every outfielder in the top 10 games played since 2006 has played on at least two teams. Only four National League starters have been with their team longer than Kershaw — Adam Wainwright (St. Louis, 2005), Matt Cain (San Francisco, 2005), Homer Bailey (Cincinnati, 2007) and free agent Tim Lincecum (San Francisco, 2007).

With that urgency brings a thinner line between risk and reward. Maybe the following shows that a free agent’s team knows him best — and therefore has a more difficult decision on what it wants to do when a player comes up for free agency.

Top-level free agents over the age of 30 typically don’t re-sign with their teams. In the 2013 and 2014 offseasons, 56 free agents who were age 30 or older and had been All-Stars at some point in their career signed Major League contracts. Of those 56, just 10 re-signed with the team they played with the year before. That’s less than 20 percent. The only player who signed a contract of more than three years was Victor Martinez, who inked a four-year deal with Detroit in 2014. Brian Wilson, who signed a two-year pact with the Dodgers, is one of the 10.

I’m not trying to destroy the idea of a player being with the same team his whole career or a major portion of it, as would have been the case if Zack Greinke had re-signed with the Dodgers. I’m just mindful that Mr. Padre and Cal Ripken longevity is uncommon.

Players who remain with the same team their whole career — like with Robinson, Campanella, Koufax, Drysdale and hopefully Kershaw — are special cases. As are players who re-sign with their team when they become a free agent.

I’ve grown to accept things about the game I love. And I’ve grown to expect things from the game I love. Change is part of the game. In fact, it always has been.

The most famous player in baseball history is known as a Yankee, but Babe Ruth was a Red Sock first, and we know how that transaction affected people.

Will we ever get over our favorite players leaving? Some will. Others might take 86 years.

Dave Roberts discusses Kershaw, Greinke

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Dallas is a pretty convenient stop on the way from Los Angeles to Nashville, and Clayton Kershaw’s house is a pretty nice place for a layover.

So on his way to baseball’s annual Winter Meetings, new Dodger manager Dave Roberts spent several hours meeting with Kershaw, to discuss next year’s team in general and the departure of Zack Greinke in particular.

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Zack Greinke bids farewell to the Dodgers

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By Jon Weisman

Zack Greinke has agreed to terms with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a six-year contract, according to multiple news reports, including MLB.com.

What is official is that Greinke’s three-year run with the Dodgers has come to an end.

Greinke, who turned 32 in October, pitched 602 2/3 innings as a Dodger with a 2.30 ERA (156 ERA+) — best in Dodger history for pitchers with at least 500 innings — culminating in his 1.66 ERA in 2015, the lowest by a Dodger in 99 years. Greinke also had a .300 on-base percentage at the plate and won two consecutive Gold Gloves.

It’s practically impossible to have been a Dodger fan and not loved Greinke. But it is completely possible to move forward, and that’s what the Dodgers will do.

Greinke, Kershaw in NL MVP top 10

By Jon Weisman

Zack Greinke finished seventh, Clayton Kershaw 10th and Adrian Gonzalez tied for 19th in the Baseball Writers Association of America’s National League Most Valuable Player vote, won unanimously by Washington’s Bryce Harper.

Greinke, the NL Cy Young Award runner-up, received two of the 30 possible second-place votes behind Harper, and in the MVP race also finished one slot behind NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta. Greinke was included in the top 10 of 24 ballots.

Other than Kershaw winning the NL MVP voter last year, Arrieta and Greinke had the highest finishes for a pitcher in the NL MVP race since Roy Halladay finished sixth in 2010.

Kershaw’s highest place on any MVP ballot this year was fourth place (two votes). Gonzalez had one ninth-place and one 10th-place vote.

Greinke, Kershaw not alone in post-award arguments

Mike Piazza in 1997. Todd Warshaw/Allsport/Getty Images

Mike Piazza in 1997. Todd Warshaw/Allsport/Getty Images

By Cary Osborne

After Wednesday’s Cy Young Award announcements, we know that Zack Greinke has the best pitching season by a Dodger to not get recognized with a Cy Young Award. And it might be the best ever by a pitcher who didn’t win the prize. Clayton Kershaw’s season might be the second best by a Dodger who didn’t win the Cy Young Award.

They’re not alone. Other Dodgers have had strong arguments for season-ending awards and were left empty-handed.

Looking back at some of the best seasons by Dodger pitchers who didn’t win a Cy Young Award, it’s easy to see why they were passed over.

Reliever Ron Perranoski had an incredible 1963 out of the bullpen — a 16-3 record, 21 saves and a 1.67 ERA in 69 appearances. Perranoski even finished fourth in the NL MVP voting. Some guy named Koufax won the Cy Young that year.

Don Sutton had a 2.08 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 272 2/3 innings in 1972 and finished tied for fifth. No one was beating Steve Carlton with his 1.97 ERA and 310 strikeouts in 346 1/3 innings.

But there are some former Dodgers who could look back at the Rookie of the Year and MVP awards and share argument stories with Greinke and Kershaw. Actually, Kershaw could argue twice about the Cy Young Award.

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