Amid a historic scoreless streak, Zack Greinke has placed himself amongst Dodger pitching greats Don Drysdale and Orel Hershiser, but the trio's connection extends well beyond their proximity in the record books.
There's an uncanny continuity to the Dodger pitchers' dominant stretches that runs like a thread through the annals of franchise history.
It starts from May 14 to June 8, 1968, when Don Drysdale did something no pitcher had done since the deadball era, recording 58 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, the highest total since Walter Johnson threw 55 2/3 scoreless innings in a row in 1913.
His historical feat didn't come without its share of controversy, though.
With 44 scoreless innings already in the book, Drysdale loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the ninth on May 31 against the rival Giants.
Drysdale then plunked Giants catcher Dick Dietz, but Dietz was denied a hit-by-pitch because he was ruled to have failed to make an attempt to avoid the pitch. Drysdale then retired Dietz and the following two batters to notch his sixth-consecutive shutout and keep the streak intact.
The record seemed unapproachable, yet twenty years later, it was surpassed, fittingly by another Dodgers right-hander.
With already nine innings in the books in his last outing of the 1988 regular season, Orel Hershiser would have been content to tie Drysdale's record but was sent back out onto the bump for the 10th inning by manager Tommy Lasorda.
"Orel didn't want to go out there for the 10th inning," Lasorda said. "I said to him, 'You get your ass out there and break the record.'"
Hershiser heeded Lasorda's command and broke Drysdale's record with 59 consecutive scoreless innings, assembling six shutouts during the magical streak.
Like Drysdale, Hershiser's streak was accompanied by controversy as well, which also came against the Giants.
With 42 scoreless innings in a row already in the books, the Giants had a runners on the corners with one out when Brett Butler was called for interference after sliding into Dodgers shortstop Alfredo Griffin to break up a double play.
A run would have scored on the play.
"I remember running off the field yelling, 'Dick Dietz revisited! Dick Dietz revisited!'" Hershiser recalled. "I think Tommy Lasorda was the only one in the dugout who knew what I meant."
Drysdale, a member of the Dodgers broadcast team, witnessed the entire streak, and was there to congratulate Hershiser and interview him after the final inning of his outing, a priceless moment of solidarity between the two.
Twenty-seven years later, that moment could soon be recreated by Hershiser and Greinke.
The 31-year-old righty needs 15 2/3 more scoreless innings to eclipse the Dodgers great for the scoreless innings streak.
Hershiser, like Drysdale, has become a member of the Dodgers broadcast team, and has been tracking Greinke's streak from a bird's-eye view.
"I'm cheering for this, I want this to happen, I've had my day," Hershiser says. "I want Zack and the next Dodger championship team to have their day."
The commentator connection isn't the only thread that ties the Dodgers pitchers together.
On Thursday, September 15, 1988, in the middle of Hershiser's historic streak, he and his wife welcomed their son Jordan into the world.
Greinke postponed his start on Friday to be with his wife, Emily, on Thursday as she gave birth to their first child, a son named Bode.
While each pitcher's tenure with the Dodgers has varied, they have all been the righty counterpart to the greatest left-handed pitchers in franchise history: Sandy Koufax, Fernando Valenzuela, and Clayton Kershaw.
Greinke has yet to experience controversy in his scoreless streak, other than his wife's labor postponing his start.
However, there's another more notable disparity between him and his record-setting predecessors.
He hasn't won a World Series with the Dodgers.
The last time the franchise won? 1988, the year of Hershiser's record streak.