As the streak continues to gain momentum, it is also gaining national attention. The efforts of Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers have found the team going through a spectacle of pitching. With all that has been done, few can argue that the Dodgers do in fact have two aces in their rotation.
The scoreless innings streak has now reached 43.2 innings after eight shutout innings against the Washington Nationals. The 2015 All-Star Game starter allowed just three hits, one walk, and zero earned runs against a division-leading team. Now that the streak is tacking on more innings, the comparisons to a few other Dodger pitching legends have taken place.
Often thought of as one of the hardest statistical streaks to beat at the Major League level, Orel Hershiser’s 59 consecutive scoreless inning streak is marveled at. Don Drysdale, the previous record holder, has his 58-inning streak right there in second.
Catching Hershiser through five of the seven games it took to make the record was Mike Scioscia, the current Los Angeles Angels’ manager and catcher for the Dodgers for 12 seasons. The manager was asked about how Greinke is approaching the streak and the former catcher attempted to hype the notion, via Greg Hadley of the L.A. Times:
Getting close, isn’t he? That’s one of the records that everyone thought wouldn’t be broken. Drysdale had it; when Orel broke that, it was incredible, the way it kept adding up,” Scioscia said. “I’m sure there’s going to be some excitement his next couple starts, for sure.”
When Hershiser set the streak in 1988 Major League season, it spanned through eight starts, in which five of them were complete game shutouts and one game involved Hershiser pitching 10 innings without allowing a run. To compare it to Greinke’s current streak, the 31-year-old has gone through six scoreless starts, but has yet to pitch a complete game.
The overall nostalgia of this streak was touched upon last season when pitcher Clayton Kershaw also had a streak of his own. Kershaw’s streak stretched to 41 innings before it ended, thus drawing him 18 innings short. After the game, Hershiser praised Kershaw and stated how he wished he had broken the streak.
Greinke’s next scheduled start is July 24 against the New York Mets, the team with the worst batting average in the National League. The Mets are also second in the NL for most times being shutout, which is an ample opportunity for the former Cy Young pitcher to extend the streak.