LOS ANGELES -- While the Dodgers offense has gone through a rough patch for the better part of three weeks, the starting pitching has raised its game of late. Zack Greinke takes the baton for Sunday night's series finale against the Cardinals.
In the wonderful world of selective endpoints, Dodgers starters have a 3.22 ERA in their last 33 games (after a 3.83 ERA in the first 23 games of the season). After just 12 quality starts in the first 23 games of the season, the Dodgers have 22 quality starts in their last 33 games, including lasting at least seven innings 12 times during that span.
Greinke has lasted seven innings five times this season, and has yet to pitch fewer than six innings this season. He is 9-4 with a 3.17 ERA in 14 career games against the Cardinals, including 12 starts.
The Dodgers have had a starter last seven or more innings in three straight games once this season, when Clayton Kershaw (7⅓), Greinke (7⅔) and Mike Bolsinger (eight) each lasted one out longer than the previous starter from May 21-23.
Greinke could make it a threesome for a second time this year on Sunday, following Brett Anderson (7⅔) and Kershaw (eight) the last two nights.
In 37 career starts at Dodger Stadium, Greinke is 21-5 with a 2.29 ERA, with 239 strikeouts and 47 walks in 243⅔ innings. Among pitchers with at least 20 career starts at Chavez Ravine, the only four pitchers with a lower ERA here are Sandy Koufax (1.37), Kershaw (2.12), Don Drysdale (2.19) and Dean Chance (2.24).
The Dodgers will face no slouch in Lance Lynn, heading for his third straight 200-inning season for the Cardinals. Lynn is 4-4 with a 3.03 ERA this season, and putting up a strikeout rate (25.0%) and walk rate (7.6%) that are his best marks in four years as a starting pitcher.
Among 105 qualified MLB pitchers since the start of 2013, Greinke and Lynn respectively rank fourth (2.56) and 33rd (3.31) in ERA, 15th (3.09) and 24th in FIP, and 13th (3.13) and 46th (3.69) in xFIP.
Lynn's five career regular season starts against the Dodgers can be lumped into two categories - four starts of exactly six innings each, 3-0 with seven total runs allowed; and one bad start, last June 28, with seven runs allowed in two innings.
Time: 5:08 p.m. PT