With his scoreless innings streak on the line Sunday in the three-game series finale between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals, Zack Greinke formed the battery with Yasmani Grandal, who he once equated to the best catcher he could envision creating.
Grandal recently returned the favor by likening working with Greinke to playing a video game. Together, the two worked seamlessly yet again, largely keeping the Nationals off the bases and thus scoreboard. However, Grandal was then removed in the sixth inning after taking a foul ball square off his face mask.
In entered A.J. Ellis and given he hadn’t worked with Greinke through the majority of the game, he approached the pitcher to ensure they were on the same page. The result was very much a Greinke-esque response, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
I’m back there calling pitches and I don’t know exactly what was working for Zack. I don’t know exactly what sequences he’d been using to put guys away during the game,” Ellis said. “So I kind of went out there after the first out and said, ‘Hey, I’m just going to follow your lead here.’ “Zack said, ‘It’s pretty easy. All my stuff is pretty nasty right now.’ We went from there. And he wasn’t exaggerating. He was dominant.”
While Greinke has also spoken highly of Ellis and worked just fine with him, he told the catcher last season he’d trade him in order to improve the team. Working with Ellis did nothing to slow Greinke down, much to the Nationals’ chagrin.
Greinke finished the day with 11 strikeouts and didn’t allow a run in eight innings, extending his scoreless streak to 43.2 innings. Max Scherzer, who started Sunday for the Nationals, praised Greinke, though Bryce Harper didn’t completely echo the same sentiment.