Win or no, Zack Greinke was the story in Game 2 of the NLDS

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Zack Greinke hurled seven scoreless innings Saturday in the Dodgers’ 3-2 win over the Cardinals that evened up the NLDS. He allowed just two hits, a total he matched in his three times at bat on the night. His third inning single — on a ball dropped perfectly into right field after Greinke showed bunt with a man on second and no outs — led to the Dodgers’ only two runs while he was in the game.

It was an exquisite showcase performance for the former Cy Young Award winner, though because J.P. Howell gave up a game-tying homer in the eighth, there was no Gatorade bath for him afterwards.  That was reserved for Matt Kemp, who homered to put the Dodgers back on top in the bottom of the eighth. Greinke probably preferred it that way anyway.

Greinke came up small in his first postseason with the Brewers in 2011. A product of a costly trade with the Royals the previous winter, Greinke led the way in the regular season for Milwaukee, but then gave up 15 runs — 12 earned — over 16 2/3 innings in his three postseason starts as the Brewers lost to the Cardinals in the NLCS. He was much better last year in his first tour with the Dodgers, finishing with a 2.57 ERA in three starts before his team again fell to St. Louis in the NLCS. Still, until tonight, he had given up at least two runs in each of his six postseason starts. Tonight, he never allowed a runner past second base.

In fact, Greinke was so good that he probably forced Don Mattingly’s hand as far as starting Clayton Kershaw on short rest in Game 4 against the Cardinals. Doing so would allow the Dodgers to have Greinke available on normal rest for a potential Game 5, which sounds like the best recipe for winning.

Gallegos agrees to 2-year, $11M contract with Cardinals

Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals
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ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a two-year, $11 million contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.

“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”

He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.

Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.

His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.

He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.

He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.