Zack Greinke #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on Sept. 22, 2013.
The Dodgers face several question marks as they head for the postseason, but the top of their rotation is not one of them.
Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke are prepared to pack a fantastic one-two punch, probably the best in baseball, as playoffs open next week.
Who will survive the postseason roster cuts? Who will the Dodgers play in the Divisional Series?
Is Ricky Nolasco or Hyun-Jin Ryu going to be the number-three starter? Will Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford all be 100-percent ready to go when the playoffs start?
And if they all are, which of the four starting outfielders is going to be spending time on the bench?
These are all impending questions as the final six games get ready to play out.
Right now, Kershaw and Greinke are the Dodgers' only sure thing. Kershaw was strong in his last start after extended rest, and Greinke has been on a tear since July, fortifying the top-end of the rotation.
Greinke was pulled after five innings after giving up just two hits for no runs in his last start. The short outing against San Diego was planned to keep him sharp without overusing him before playoffs.
Since July 8, Greinke has been rolling.
He has made 15 starts for a total of 102.2 innings, allowing 72 hits and 18 runs, with 89 strikeouts. That is an average of 6.8 innings per start, with an ERA of 1.58 and an opponent batting average of .197.
In his previous 12 starts, Greinke posted a 4.30 ERA with a .289 opponent batting average and averaged 5.75 innings per start.
His fantastic turn-around is not exactly based around his performance, as much as it is his health.
He only sat out for one month and four days after breaking his collar bone in an April brawl with San Diego. He chose to accelerate the recovery schedule, putting him back on the mound before he was completely ready.
With a couple months of starts at full health, he is pitching like the ace the Dodgers hoped for when they handed him a six-year, $159 million contract last off-season.
Safe to say that August's National League Pitcher of the Month is in full stride and ready for playoffs. His last start is scheduled for Saturday against the Rockies, and it is presumed it will be a short tune-up like he had on Sunday in San Diego.
The Dodgers opening-round playoff opponent is still unclear, but if the regular season ended today they would be facing St. Louis. On Aug. 5, Greinke threw 6.1 innings and gave up eight hits for two runs against the Cardinals.