Zack Greinke’s recent numbers point toward him being significantly shorted in the win column, but from the sound of it he doesn’t seem to believe he deserves much better.
Consider he’s on the verge of becoming the first pitcher in nearly five years to have five straight starts of allowing a run or less without a win and that modesty becomes a little excessive.
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ offense showed signs of making amends for the limited support in the series opener against the Colorado Rockies and will try to continue it Tuesday with Greinke going in the second game of a Coors Field doubleheader.
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Greinke (5-1, 1.48 ERA) allowed one run in each of his five May starts, posting a 1-1 record and 1.05 ERA. He won the first on May 5 but has only a loss to show for the four runs he’s allowed over 26 2-3 innings in the last four. A.J. Burnett had a similar four-start stretch from April 14-May 1, but the last pitcher with five straight in a single season was Tommy Hanson from July 27-Aug. 16, 2010.
Nevertheless, after yielding a run and three hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in six innings of Wednesday’s 3-2 home loss to Atlanta, the right-hander said he could have done more.
"The last three or four games I actually feel like I’ve been doing a little worse," Greinke said. "There were some situations tonight where I didn’t execute."
The only decision he has in that span came in a 7-1 home loss to Colorado on May 16 after allowing a run in six innings. He’s split two decisions in the series this season and is 6-2 with a 2.81 ERA in 10 starts against the Rockies since joining the Dodgers for the 2013 season. At Coors Field, he’s 2-0 with a 3.58 mark in six career games.
Carlos Gonzalez is 7 for 22 with three home runs, a triple and a double off Greinke, but Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu are both 4 for 21 with the latter striking out eight times.
Each of his last four starts have come at home, and he’s won all three of his road starts without surrendering an earned run. He’s never won four straight road starts in one season.
The Dodgers are electing to go with Greinke in the second game, which makes sense considering his 2.46 ERA in night games since the start of 2013 is second in the majors to teammate Clayton Kershaw, who helped Los Angeles (30-20) to Monday’s 11-4 win for its eighth in 10 games against the Rockies (22-27) this year. The Dodgers have won 19 of the last 24 and three straight at Coors Field.
Adrian Gonzalez was 4 for 4 and is batting .486 in his last 11 against Colorado, while Joc Pederson has homered in consecutive games.
The Rockies had won seven of eight, and while the team success might have been disrupted, Arenado’s was not. The third baseman homered for a third straight game and sixth time in eight while posting a 1.504 OPS with 16 RBIs.
”He’s staying behind the ball better than he has the last couple of years,” manager Walt Weiss said. ”He’s driving the ball.”
The doubleheader will start with Los Angeles’ Juan Nicasio taking on his former team and Jorge De La Rosa.
Nicasio (1-1, 1.29), who pitched for the Rockies the previous four seasons, has only appeared in relief for the Dodgers, and has tossed 3 1-3 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts against Colorado. He was 0-3 with a 14.36 ERA in his last four starts with Colorado last season.
De La Rosa (1-2, 6.51) has pitched beyond the fifth inning once in six starts. He allowed three runs and six hits with three walks over 4 1-3 in a 7-3 home loss to Philadelphia on May 21, which stands as his last start because of a cut on the middle finger of his pitching hand.
The two before that came against the Dodgers with a 1-0 record and 3.97 ERA. The win was on the road, and the left-hander is 4-5 with a 6.75 ERA in 11 games against them at Coors. Gonzalez is 17 for 46 (.370) with three homers and six doubles against him, but left fielder Scott Van Slyke and catcher A.J. Ellis are a combined 0 for 25.
That duo could instead face David Hale in Game 2.
Hale, expected to be recalled Tuesday, has earned his last two big league wins in a starting role in doubleheaders. The right-hander gave up two earned runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-3 win over San Francisco on May 23.