Since 2013 the cure to any Los Angeles Dodgers losing streak has often been Zack Greinke. Being able to throw both Greinke and Clayton Kershaw every five days almost ensures Los Angeles won’t go a long stretch without at least one win.
This past week the Dodgers lost four straight games for the first time since September of 2013. Every other Major League team suffered at least one four-game losing streak in that time span. A large reason behind the Dodgers not suffering such a streak is because of Greinke’s success when the team is coming off a loss.
Entering into Tuesday’s start against the Washington Nationals, Greinke was 23-6 in 40 starts after a loss since joining the Dodgers. He improved that record by pitching six scoreless innings en route to a 5-0 victory, snapping the Dodgers’ four-game losing streak.
While Greinke has exceeded in those situations, he’s done so without placing additional pressure on himself. “I don’t put any extra pressure in those situations because like I said, whenever I try to do stuff like that like do better or go deeper into games or strikeout more guys, anything along those line, the result ends up being worse,” Greinke said.
The six innings pitches was one of the 31-year-old’s shortest starts on the season, due to a high pitch count. As for whether there’s pressure to go deeper into games given the Dodgers’ bullpen struggles, Greinke dismissed that as well. “Whenever I’ve done in the past, tried to go deep into games its ended up backfiring so I don’t really think about to much,” he said.
“Maybe if through five innings I’ve thrown 100 pitches then maybe I’ll stay in a little longer, but I don’t change how I pitch.” Whatever Greinke has been doing psychologically has certainly worked, as he leads the Majors with a 1.65 ERA and is 7-0 in his last 10 starts. Furthermore, opponents are hitting just .174 against him with runners in scoring position.