Since the World Series MVP was first awarded in 1955, there have been only two meetings between the previous season's World Series MVP and a current season's eventual Cy Young Award winner.
On June 29 and July 4 in 1969, reigning World Series MVP Mickey Lolich of the Tigers faced eventual American League Cy Young winner Mike Cuellar of the Orioles.
With Zack Grienke picking up another win on Tuesday night, this time against last year's World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner, Lolich and Cuellar may have company by season's end.
Greinke improved to 15-3 and lowered his ERA to 1.59 in the victory. With a month left to go, he looks to join Clayton Kershaw, Greg Maddux and Ron Guidry as the only pitchers with three or fewer losses and an ERA under 2.00 (minimum 20 starts) in a single season since earned runs were first tracked in 1912 in the National League and 1913 in the American League, per Elias Sports Bureau research.
All three of those pitchers won the Cy Young that season, and all three boasted an ERA higher than Greinke's.
Elias tells us that Greinke is also the first pitcher in the past 10 years with an ERA of 1.60 or lower after at least 25 starts. Rogers Clemens, whose ERA was under that mark after his 28th start for the 2005 Astros, is the last player to do this. Greinke, who has made 27 starts, is also the first Dodgers pitcher with an ERA as low as 1.60 at any point after making his 25th start since earned runs have been tracked.
With the victory, Greinke improved to 7-0 in nine career starts against the Giants. According to Elias research, he became just the fifth pitcher in major-league history to win each of his first seven or more decisions against the Giants. The others are Mike Hampton (first 10 from 1995 to 2001), Jack Coombs (first nine from 1915 to 1917), Kevin Brown (first seven from 1996 to 1999) and Vic Lombardi (first seven from 1945 to 1946).
In doing so, Bumgarner's five-game winning streak is over. Bumgarner won all five of his August starts with a 1.43 ERA.
Pitchers who rake
For the first time in the history of the Giants-Dodgers rivalry both pitchers batted eighth, and it's for good reason.
Bumgarner (five) and Greinke (two) are the only pitchers with multiple homers this season and they both rank among the top three in hits by a pitcher.
However, neither pitcher got a hit Tuesday night, which should be no surprise since Bumgarner and Greinke are the only two pitchers this season (min. 15 AB) to not allow a hit to a pitcher.
Joc joins Bryce
The deciding run ended up coming on a seventh-inning homer by Joc Pederson, who started in the ninth spot for the first time in his career in a National League park.
Pederson joined Bryce Harper as the only lefties to homer off of Madison Bumgarner this season. With 24 homers, Pederson leads all rookies although it's just his fourth after the All-Star break.
Pederson's long ball helped the Dodgers to their seventh win in eight games following a five-game losing streak, and now Los Angeles holds a 5½-game lead over San Francisco in the NL West.