Game 2 of the NLDS will forever be remembered for Chase Utley's leg-breaking takeout slide of Ruben Tejada and the controversy that followed.
What may be forgotten down the road is that Utley was on the bases because he singled as a pinch hitter for Dodgers starter Zack Greinke. And that Greinke, who allowed two runs in seven innings, became the winning pitcher when the Dodgers rallied for four in the seventh in a 5-2 victory over the Mets.
On Thursday night, Greinke gets a chance to end the Mets' season in Game 5. As much as the Mets have confidence in their starter, Jacob deGrom, the Dodgers feel pretty good about starting the 2015 major-league ERA champion in an elimination game.
The Mets know they are in for a supreme challenge after being shut down by co-ace Clayton Kershaw in a 3-1 defeat in Game 4 on Tuesday.
"Greinke's a great pitcher," said rookie Michael Conforto, who along with Yoenis Cespedes hit solo home runs off Greinke in the second inning. "He paints the corners and his knowledge of the game and his knowledge of hitters that he's going to face is elite. So he knows how to attack us, how to attack certain guys. He keeps the ball down well. He makes that changeup look like a strike when it's not.
"So the game plan is just to make him elevate the ball a little bit, bring it up and force him to paint that fastball down at the knees. When that changeup starts down there, it's going to end up being a ball. He has a lot of success when people start chasing that. I think we're still going to be aggressive, but really work hard to make him elevate, make him stay in the middle of the plate and not chase too much."
Greinke, who has been compared to Hall of Famer Greg Maddux for the precision of his pitches, went 19-3 with a 1.66 ERA in the regular season.
"I've heard that comparison," Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud said. "It's tough for me to say. I never played against Maddux."
What does Greinke do so well?
"Commands," d'Arnaud said. "He has great command. He can read swings really well. He can pick up approaches. From what I've heard, he studies a lot and watches a lot of film on the other guys, too, so he's really smart. He's going to execute a lot of his pitches. You've just got to be ready for that mistake."
Cespedes and Conforto did that to give the Mets a 2-0 lead that the Dodgers were able to overcome with the help of Utley's slide. The Mets had only three other hits against Greinke, who didn't walk a batter and struck out eight.
The Mets did face him just five days ago, which could be considered a plus.
"Absolutely," Conforto said. "I think it helps a lot. But at the same time, they've seen our guy. I think it helps, but we've just got to execute our game plan. That's the only way we're going to have success."