LOS ANGELES -- Just as Clayton Kershaw did on Friday night, Zack Greinke did on Saturday. Both Dodgers ended their seasons with typically excellent performances. Greinke took the loss on Saturday, though he allowed just one run in six innings to the Rockies. But more importantly, the dynamic duo look primed and ready to go when the Dodgers open their NLDS on Thursday and Friday on the road, in either Atlanta or St. Louis.
"It was pretty good. I'm executing my pitches pretty well," Greinke said after the game. "It could be worse, that's for sure."
Greinke finished his season at 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA in 28 starts, with 148 strikeouts and 46 walks, a strikeout-to-walk ratio of well north of three. It is arguably his best season since winning the American League Cy Young Award in 2009, and he was asked to compare the two campaigns.
"I was more consistent that year. I didn't have any spots where I pitched bad, like this year. I had about a month where it was ugly," Greinke said. "Kersh had no bad stretches, and that's what you have to do."
That combination of Greinke and Kershaw gives the Dodgers hope in any playoff series. Even though they will open the NLDS on the road, manager Don Mattingly feels confident with Kershaw and Greinke leading the pitching staff and opening the series.
"[Greinke] gives us that 1-2 punch with Clayton. It gives us two guys that, when those guys take the ball, you feel like you're going to win. It's pretty much quality start after quality start," Mattingly said. "That's just confidence for our club, with two guys that pretty much know they're getting fairly deep into the game.
"When you get to them it's kind of a day off for most of your bullpen. And if you get them back-to-back there's a pretty good chance your bullpen will get some rest. It allows us to plan easier."
Greinke allowed 19 runs over his final 16 starts, putting up a 1.58 ERA while averaging 6.80 innings per start.
Kershaw in his last 16 starts had a 1.59 ERA and averaged 7.17 innings per start. On the season he was at 1.83 and 7.15, respectively.
The Dodgers definitely have two horses at the top of their rotation.
"Anything can happen in a short series. It's definitely not going to be easy, but most of our guys are healthy so that should be good," Greinke said. "It should help, but you still need stuff to work out good for you."