Zack Greinke threw his 10th career complete game Sunday against the Rays, but was handed his third loss of the season and now stands 0-3 on the year.
Greinke was spectacular as usual, fanning six batters and allowing just five base runners all day. But, yet again, he received zero run support and had his win-loss record tainted. The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner is on pace for 214 strikeouts, just 45 walks, a 0.98 WHIP, 2.27 ERA, but also a record of 0-19. Baseball and the people who cover it have made a lot of progress in the last few years with understanding what makes a pitcher successful, but how many Cy Young votes would an 0-19 pitcher get even if all of his other stats were top-of-the-line? We might just find out. And ESPN’s Keith Law thinks he’d be left off half of all Cy ballots.
Greinke, 26, has has not registered a win in 10 career starts against the Rays. Then again, it’s probably time to throw the “win,” as a pitching stat, right out the window.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.