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Greinke seals NL ERA title with 19th win

LOS ANGELES -- Zack Greinke finalized his National League Cy Young Award resume Saturday night, and one of the most convincing points is Greinke's ERA of 1.66, the lowest in the league this season.

In his final regular-season start, Greinke pitched eight innings, allowing only one run while striking out eight in the Dodgers' 2-1 win over the Padres. With the win, the Dodgers also clinched home-field advantage in the NL Division Series against the Mets.

"I'm happy that Zack has been pitching so well for the rest of us, for the team," manager Don Mattingly said. "I'm not sure those are the type of things that Zack worries about. He's more about executing pitches and having a game plan."

Greinke's ERA is the lowest by any pitcher since Greg Maddux finished the 1995 season with a 1.63 ERA. Greinke led the Majors with a 2.16 ERA in 2009; that year, he took home the American League Cy Young Award as a member of the Royals.

"I pitched good for the season. I guess you have to pitch pretty good for the whole season to do that," Greinke said. "Last time, I felt more dominating, in 2009. This year, I felt like it was more the whole team. There was hardly any errors behind me."

Greinke's strikeout of Derek Norris in the eighth inning Saturday was his 200th of the season. He's reached that number in four of the past five seasons. He's the fifth pitcher in the last 60 years to have more than 200 strikeouts and an ERA under 1.70, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

"I've probably made pitches better than any year before. I feel like the past three years have been consistent, but this year maybe was a little better," Greinke said.

Saturday's outing was Greinke's 30th quality start of the season, and Greinke has lasted at least six innings in all 32 of his starts. It was the 21st time that he's allowed one run or fewer in a game, and his 19 wins are a career high.

As for the neck-and-neck race for the NL Cy Young Award with Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta, Greinke said he wasn't thinking about anything other than staying in the game and performing well.

"I really hadn't thought about it, anything like that, this whole year," Greinke said. "Just trying to make good pitches and stay focused."

Steve Bourbon is an associate reporter for
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