Since signing a six-year, $147 million deal in 2012, right-handed starting pitcher Zack Greinke has been nothing but great for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Last season, Greinke recovered from a broken collarbone suffered in a collision with San Diego Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin following a hit by pitch to end the year 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA in 28 starts. Greinke began this season with a calf strain in the spring that prevented him from making the trip to Australia, but he has since recovered and is 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA thus far in 2014. He’s also in the midst of a 16-start streak in which he has gone at least five innings and allowed two runs or less.
According to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com, the 30-year-old takes a simple approach to taking the mound:
What I really try to do,” said Greinke, “is try not to have a bad game, and it’s been working for a while.”
While the modest right-hander may say he has that simple mentality, Greinke is known as one of the more meticulous starting pitchers in the big leagues. He’s known for sticking to a routine and studying hitters with precision. Greinke broke out in 2009 with the Kansas City Royals, winning the American League Cy Young award and leading the league in ERA. Since that year, Greinke has had mostly success for the Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and now the Dodgers.
With reigning Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw currently out for the Dodgers, Greinke has more than held his own as the team’s ace, along with left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu. In 29.1 innings this season, the right-hander has struck out 40 batters and allowed just eight runs in five starts. He was set to start Tuesday’s series opener in Minnesota, but that was postponed due to weather and pushed him back to Wednesday. If what we’ve seen from him the past two seasons is any indication, Greinke will do just fine.
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