I think it might be safe to say that Zack Greinke has hit his stride. Other than a first-inning blast allowed to Giancarlo Stanton — and absolutely no shame in that — Greinke was once again stellar tonight in allowing just a single run over eight innings to Miami, and the numbers here sort of speak for themselves.
Over his last three starts (21.2 innings), he’s allowed just the one earned run, tonight’s homer.
Over his last eight starts (64 innings), he’s allowed just nine earned runs. Nine!
I’m the first to tell you that the earned run (and ERA) is hardly the the most important stat out there for pitchers. Yet even I am not so jaded as to not be incredibly impressed by that, and Greinke’s 2.91 ERA now puts him 15th in the bigs, tied with Derek Holland and just ahead of Stephen Strasburg.
The Dodgers really didn’t get a whole lot done on offense against old friend Nathan Eovaldi, who was effective and occasionally dominant in seven good innings of his own, but thanks to Greinke, they didn’t really need to. Three of their four runs came in the fourth inning when Adrian Gonzalez (walk), Hanley Ramirez (double), and Andre Ethier (single) got on in between errors by Ed Lucas and Eovaldi himself, and that was basically it, though notice must be given to Ethier for running down a long Adeiny Hechavarria when men on to end the game.
After all of the usual noise around Puig today, he went 0-5, though he did score the first run after reaching via the Lucas error. As Bill Plunkett noted, he’s still only 1 for his last 18, and 7 for his last 42 — and more than one beat writer noted that he didn’t look right running to first, as though something was sore. On the other hand, no major f-ups in the field or on the bases, so that’s something, I guess.
Don’t forget, it’s an early (9:40am Pacific) start tomorrow. That’s right, the Marlins — amongst the youngest teams in the bigs — get to face Greinke and Clayton Kershaw within a span of 17 hours. That’s just not right.