With a 6-1 record and 2.38 ERA Zack Greinke took the mound Friday night for the third time against the Arizona Diamondbacks this season. The right-hander earned a win on April 12 and took a no-decision six days later.
With an eight-inning, six-strikeout performance, Greinke got the win Friday. He worked his way out of multiple jams in the early stages of the game before settling in and cruising through the Diamondbacks lineup.
A.J. Ellis, who was behind the plate for the second consecutive game since being reinstated from the disabled list, marveled at the right-hander’s creativity, via ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon:
He’s got so many weapons, and he’s so imaginative and creative out there on the mound.”
With the shutout, Greinke has now allowed two earned runs or fewer in 21 consecutive games, a streak that dates back to last season. It’s the longest such streak in MLB since 1914, when ERA became an official stat.
Greinke recently discussed the adjustment he made to no longer heavily rely on his slider for fear of what damage it would cause to his arm and after his seventh win of the season, the pitcher compared constantly throwing hard to taking a more cerebral approach:
Each has its strength, because when you could just throw as hard as you can and throw a slider as hard as you can, you feel dominant, you feel powerful,” Greinke said. “Right now, you have to use your brain more.”
With his latest victory, Greinke now leads all NL pitchers with seven wins and he’s fifth among NL starters with 61 strikeouts.
Greinke jumped out to similar 5-1 and 6-1 starts in 2012 and 2011, respectively. However, both were accompanied by an ERA above 3.00. In Greinke’s 2009 Cy Young Award season, he began the year 8-1 with an 0.84 ERA.
The 30-year-old may not be considered an NL favorite, much less a favorite on the Dodgers to win a second Cy Young, but his approach on the mound may give the team an argument for the best pitching rotation once Hyun-Jin Ryu returns from the DL.
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