The Los Angeles Dodgers have not truly clicked yet. Clayton Kershaw is just getting back into the swing of things at the top of their rotation. The lineup has been inconsistent. The bullpen has leaks. It is nothing like their slow start in 2013, but the Dodgers have not charged out in front of the NL West as expected just yet.
As for stars who have performed well, Zack Greinke has done his part. After cruising past the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night, Greinke is now 7-1 on the season and leads the National League in wins.
What seems even crazier is the fact that Greinke is not really impressed with himself, saying that he does not think his stuff is as good as it once was (quotes from Ken Gurnick of MLB.com):
In ’09, I just felt nasty to where I could tell them what’s coming and they still didn’t have a chance…Now I’m average to above average [stuff] and not where I was, but I mix it up and keep the hitters guessing. It was fastballs and sliders down, a good combination.”
Greinke is his own harshest critic, I guess, but presuming that his stuff is still pretty darn good, that is not a good sign for opposing hitters. In a small sample size of nine starts, Greinke is striking out better than a hitter per inning (10.29 K/9). Only once in his career has he struck out hitters over the course of the season at a better rate (10.54 K/9 in 2011).
The Dodgers are favorites in their division because of their duo of aces, among other reasons. Greinke is doing his part, and given good health Kershaw will certainly do his. When that happens, it could spell trouble for the San Francisco Giants and the rest of the division.