Zack Greinke extends scoreless innings streak in Dodgers’ win over Washington Nationals

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C. >> The odds of any pitcher throwing 43 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings are microscopic to begin with, but consider what’s unfolding every time Zack Greinke takes the mound for the Dodgers.In 1988, Orel Hershiser set the record by pitching 59 consecutive scoreless innings, one more than Don Drysdale in 1968. Coincidentally, Drysdale was in the broadcast booth in San Diego the night Hershiser broke his record.Hershiser was in the broadcast booth for the Dodgers’ 5-0 win over the Washington Nationals on Sunday, when Greinke pitched another eight scoreless innings. He’ll be there again in five days in New York for Greinke’s next scheduled start.For history to repeat itself, Greinke would need to string out no more than 15 consecutive scoreless innings Friday against the Mets, then at home against the Angels, before he pitches again on the road with Hershiser in the booth. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “You have to look at (Greinke) as more of an artist out there,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s the (Greg) Maddux type that can get the ball to both sides, do everything with the baseball, and also handle everything you’re supposed to do as a player — he fields, he hits, he does all of that.” Despite the final score, Greinke had little margin for error. The Dodgers scored only one run against Nationals starter Max Scherzer, when Andre Ethier scampered in from third base on a wild pitch in the fourth inning.The score remained 1-0 until the ninth inning, when the Dodgers sent nine batters to the plate and scored four runs.Yasiel Puig struck out in each of his first four plate appearances for the third time in his career, before his two-run single added to the ninth-inning rally. Ethier (3 for 5), batting cleanup for the first time since 2013, and Howie Kendrick (3 for 4) accounted for six of the Dodgers’ 15 hits.The Dodgers took two of three games from the Nationals over the weekend. Their NL East road trip continues today with three games in Atlanta, followed by four in New York. The Nationals have the best record of any team the Dodgers will face on this trip, or in any series until the Angels visit Dodger Stadium on July 31. Yet with Kershaw (who’s thrown 20 consecutive scoreless innings) and Greinke (43 2/3) evoking historical comparisons, only a federal bailout would have given Washington a chance. Can the usually stoic Greinke at least step back and enjoy his own streak?“No,” he said. “I don’t think about it all.”center_img Greinke’s streak is already impressive without looking too far ahead. No pitcher has a lower ERA this season than Greinke’s 1.30. He had retired 28 consecutive hitters at one point Sunday before Michael Taylor’s single in the third inning.“All three of my best pitches were working good,” Greinke said. “That helps.”The 31-year-old right-hander threw a season-high 119 pitches and didn’t allow a runner past first base. He struck out 11, also a season high, allowed three singles and walked one batter. In the process he passed Clayton Kershaw’s streak of 41 consecutive scoreless innings to assume third place in the Dodgers’ franchise record book. Since the major leagues expanded in 1961, only three pitchers have thrown more consecutive scoreless innings than Greinke: Hershiser, Drysdale and Bob Gibson in 1968. According to Stats, LLC, only three pitchers on any team have made six straight scoreless starts: Greinke, Hershiser and Drysdale.last_img

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