The 2012 baseball season has been loaded with dominant pitching performances — perfect games, no-hitters, one-hitters, and more — but not many games this season have boasted two dominant, near-perfect, pitchers on the mound.
That was the case on Friday night, as the Brewers squeaked by the White Sox with a 1-0 win in 10 innings. Brewers’ pitcher Zack Greinke tallied one of the best performances of his already extraordinary season, tallying nine shutout innings with four strikeouts. He allowed just three hits, and perhaps even more impressively, didn’t allow a single Chicago runner to get to second base.
“That was really good,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “I think there were two balls squared up against him. … That was really good.”
Roenicke said that Greinke’s curveball was especially imposing tonight, while his fastball remained solid. And although the Brewers ace didn’t register many punchouts, White Sox hitters were unable to produce much contact, hitting into four double plays.
“They were aggressive,” Roenicke said. “They put some first pitches into play which zack usually doesn’t have.. that allowed him to go with the pitch count to where he went. … His location was outstanding.”
But aside from Greinke’s domination, Roenicke would be remiss not to mention the other pitcher in Friday’s pitcher’s duel, as White Sox pitcher Chris Sale was able to pitch eight innings that matched the brilliance of his opponent on the mound.
Sale, who’s also 8-2 this season, allowed just one more hit than Greinke, and racked up seven total strikeouts — three more than his counterpart. But while Greinke managed an outstanding pitch count of 100 through nine innings, Sale was a bit behind him, tossing 109 in eight innings of work.
“Sale was really good,” Roenicke said. “I see why his record and his ERA are where they are. He’s really funky along with great stuff.”
As Nyjer Morgan crossed home plate for the only run of Friday night’s game, however, it was Greinke who would prove to narrowly win one of this season’s best pitcher’s duels, at a park that the Brewers pitcher said he’s never felt comfortable pitching at.
For second baseman Rickie Weeks though, who knocked in the winning run, the dominance was not unexpected, even on the road.
“All year long, he’s been carrying us for a while now,” Weeks said. “He kind of put his road thing to a rest … He came out and pitched a great game tonight.”