Being part of a Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff that’s led by Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, Brett Anderson is among those who fly under the radar. With a career that’s been riddled by one injury after another, Anderson bucked the trend in 2015 and proved to be a valuable commodity.
Anderson made a career-high 31 starts this season, and had the opportunity to watch Greinke and Kershaw up close, which Anderson has said throughout the year he’s enjoyed and benefitted from. With the Dodgers splitting the first two games of the National League Championship Series, Anderson starts in the pivotal Game 3 on Monday.
As much as the 27-year-old left-hander touched on his postseason start, Anderson also offered an interesting assessment on the Dodgers’ aces, and touched on what he’s learned from the two. “They’re about as polar opposite as you can get. The cerebral kind of calmness and professor-like stuff Greinke does,” Anderson said.
“And then kind of bulldog, bite-your-head-off, I’m going to dominate you mentality of Kershaw. You take what you like from both guys; there’s a lot to pick from. You take bits and pieces and incorporate it into your game. They’re two of the best for a reason, so it’s fun to watch those guys.”
When told of Anderson’s comments, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly added for as much as Greinke and Kershaw are perceived as opposites, similarities exist. “The way Brett described them, I see them both that way. Zack is a bulldog, you just don’t see it emotionally like you do with Clayton,” Mattingly said.
“And Clayton, is very much a professor and surgeon as far as his preparation, work on hitters and things like that. They really both are a mixture of that. Obviously, Clayton is more emotional outwardly, and Zack is not.”
Mattingly added both pitchers excel in preparation and are equally competitive. “I think both guys respect each other and guys on the team respect the way they do their work,” Mattingly said. “They’re both individually different, but also individually very good for our club.”
Unfortunately for the Dodgers, they’ve yet been able to truly cash in on Greinke’s and Kershaw’s dominance. Game 6 of the 2013 NL Championship Series is as far as they’ve advanced in the postseason, and they could be bounced in the first round for a second straight year.
Greinke can opt out of his contract following the 2015 season, which he’s widely expected to do given the career year he’s had.