How great of a pitcher Zack Greinke is has been on full display this season as he’s largely led the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitching staff.
With season-ending injuries to Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu, the starting rotation took a significant hit. As the Dodgers worked to find back-of-the-rotation options, Greinke provided consistency, which was much needed as Clayton Kershaw worked to find his footing.
Greinke currently leads the Majors with a 1.58 ERA and has an equally impressive 0.91 WHIP. He attributed some of his success to being able to throw four quality pitches, via Time Warner Cable SportsNet LA:
I’ve always been able to throw four pitches for strikes, but not all of them have been quality. This year, I have three pitches that have been high quality, and my curve ball has been so-so at best. I can throw it for strikes but it’s not been very good.”
The 2014 Gold Glove winner is currently in the midst of a 20.2 scoreless innings streak and while his pitching has garnered plenty of attention, Greinke has also helped his cause defensively. His defensive prowess has impressed Howie Kendrick who likened the pitcher to a shortstop, via Time Warner Cable SportsNet LA:
He’s been phenomenal. It’s fun to play some ‘D’ and watch him work on the mound. His defense on the mound — I knew he could play ‘D,’ but I’ve been pretty impressed. He’s like a little shortstop up the middle.”
The majority of Greinke’s pitches this season have been some variation of a fastball — 53 percent. He’s also thrown the chanegup more often, 20 percent, up from 16.5 percent last season. As Greinke’s changeup has improved, he’s had to use his other pitches sparingly in key situations and thus kept batters guessing more times than not.
On the season Greinke is 6-2 in 16 starts and ended his winless streak after Sunday’s 2-0 win against the Miami Marlins. His next start is scheduled for July 4, against Matt Harvey and the New York Mets, which is shaping up to be a firework display of ascendant pitching.