It’s exactly how the Dodgers envisioned things after they signed starter Zack Greinke to a six-year $147 million contract over the winter.
Greinke would slot into the number two spot in the rotation behind ace Clayton Kershaw to give the Dodgers arguably the most formidable 1-2 punch in baseball.
Two brawls later and a broken collarbone to show for it, Greinke is starting to find his groove just as the Dodgers had hoped. After another dazzling performance that saw him toss 110 pitches in 6.1 innings, allowing just six hits and one walk while striking out seven, Greinke talked about his outing today:
I saw my pitch count was high early on, but I wasn’t too worried. With a big lead I wanted to pitch the same, but didn’t want to be too fine and start walking guys.
Living in the 90-91 mph range early in the season, Greinke dialed it up to as high as 96 today and has seen his velocity increase after Don Mattingly shuffled his rotation around.
Now 10-3 with a dazzling 3.21 ERA, Greinke is now 4-1 with a 1.66 ERA since July 8 and the Dodgers are now 15-4 when he starts.
With such a high pitch count, Mattingly wasn’t concerned, “He told us he had 120, 130 pitches. Obviously, Zack is getting stronger”.
With another shutout today, the Dodgers have now tied the Pirates with 14 and Greinke credits the rotation and bullpen:
We’ve got some pretty good starters here and I feel like the bullpen hasn’t given up a run in forever.
The win meant the Dodgers are 19-3 since the All-Star break and have now won 36 of their last 44 games while showing no signs of slowing down.
If Greinke continues to pitch this way coupled together with Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu pitching the way they are, the Dodgers will have arguably the top 1-2-3 punch in baseball.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out the latest on Matt Kemp’s ankle injury.