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2015 Dodgers review: Zack Greinke, Mr. Consistent

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Our next 2015 Dodgers review is of National League Cy Young Award candidate Zack Greinke, on his 32nd birthday.

What went right

Just about everything went right for Greinke, who put up the second-lowest ERA (1.66) in Dodgers franchise history, behind only Rube Marquard (1.58) in 1916.

Greinke's ERA+ (225) was the best in franchise history, the third consecutive season a Dodgers pitcher has set a club record for best ERA+.

Greinke was amazingly consistent all season, lasting at least six innings in all 32 regular season starts and in both playoff starts. He pitched 30 quality starts in the regular season, the first major league pitcher to do so since Felix Hernandez in 2010. Greinke was the first Dodgers pitcher with 30 quality start in a season since Claude Osteen and Bill Singer in 1969.

Greinke also led the majors in WHIP (0.844), the lowest WHIP in Dodgers franchise history.

In his 32 regular season starts, Greinke allowed two or fewer runs 26 times, and allowed zero or one run 21 times. His 11 scoreless starts were the second-most by a Dodgers pitcher since 1914, trailing only Sandy Koufax (13) in 1963.

Greinke tied a major league record with six consecutive scoreless starts from June 8 to July 19, a record shared by fellow Dodgers Don Drysdale and Orel Hershiser. Greinke's scoreless streak got up to 45⅔ innings, the longest streak since Hershiser's record 59-inning scoreless streak in 1988.

During the scoreless streak, Greinke and his wife gave birth to their first child, a son named Bode on July 23.

At the plate, the 2013 Silver Slugger Award winner also hit two home runs, the first Dodgers pitcher to do so since 2000, when Darren Dreifort (three home runs) and Chan Ho Park (two) both did so. Greinke hit .224/.232/.343, while holding opposing batters to hitting .187/.231/.276.

Opposing pitchers were 0-for-50 this season against Greinke, with 23 strikeouts and one walk.

Among pitchers with at least 500 innings pitched in the 132-year history of the Dodgers, Greinke's 156 ERA+ is the best.

What went wrong

Greinke allowed more than three runs just twice all season - five runs in six innings on June 2 at Coors Field, then six runs in six innings on Aug. 6 in Philadelphia. The Dodgers won both games.

A right calf strain caused Greinke to miss one start in September, his only real setback all season.

Greinke lost Game 5 of the NLDS against the Mets, falling victim to the Daniel Murphy buzzsaw. Greinke was among the group that failed to cover third base when Murphy took an extra base then scored the tying run in the fourth inning, then allowed a go-ahead home run by Murphy in the sixth.

But this is picking nits as Greinke put up a 3.29 ERA with 17 strikeouts and one walk in the series, and his 2.38 postseason ERA is seventh-best among Dodgers with at least 30 postseason innings.

2015 particulars

Age: 31

Stats: 19-3, 1.66 ERA, 200 K, 222⅔ IP, 225 ERA+, 2.76 FIP, 9.9 rWAR, 6.6 fWAR

Salary: $23 million

Game of the year

Greinke was pretty consistent all season, but his best game was likely July 9 at home against the Phillies, the fifth of his sixth consecutive scoreless starts. Greinke allowed a single by Ryan Howard to open the second inning, then retired his final 21 batters faced. Greinke struck out eight and walked none on the night, and lowered his ERA to 1.39.

Over his final 14 starts, after this gem against Philadelphia, Greinke slumped horribly and put up a 1.99 ERA.

Roster status

Whether to bring Greinke back is the Dodgers' decision of the winter, really. Greinke has $71 million and three years remaining on his contract, and can opt out by the third day after the World Series, becoming a free agent.

The Dodgers can make Greinke a qualifying offer should he opt out.