Zack Greinke becomes first pitcher with two stolen bases in a season since 2007

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Zack Greinke is having a great year on the mound, but what has been more impressive is what he has accomplished offensively. He entered this afternoon’s start against the Padres with an .809 OPS, easily the best mark among pitchers at the dish this season. Cubs pitcher Travis Wood has a .717 OPS, the second-best mark among hurlers.

In the bottom of the fifth, with the score tied 1-1, Greinke singled to center with two outs against Padres starter Tyson Ross. With Carl Crawford batting, Greinke stole second base, his second stolen base of the season. Greinke is the first pitcher with two stolen bases in a season since Orlando Hernandez accomplished the feat in 2007 with the Mets. He is the first Dodger to steal two bags since Orel Hershiser in 1987.

Player Year SB Age Tm Lg G PA CS OPS
Orlando Hernandez 2007 2 41 NYM NL 28 54 0 .375
Greg Maddux 2006 2 40 CHC/LAD NL 34 77 0 .317
Adam Eaton 2004 2 26 SDP NL 38 76 0 .594
Adam Eaton 2000 2 22 SDP NL 23 45 0 .742
Mike Hampton 1998 2 25 HOU NL 32 76 0 .676
Kevin Foster 1995 2 26 CHC NL 33 68 0 .636
Doug Brocail 1993 2 26 SDP NL 30 44 0 .364
Rick Sutcliffe 1989 2 33 CHC NL 37 90 0 .421
Tom Browning 1988 3 28 CIN NL 41 98 0 .362
Orel Hershiser 1987 2 28 LAD NL 40 102 1 .495
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/1/2013.

On the mound, Greinke went seven innings, allowing just the one run on two hits and two walks while striking out seven. He lowered his ERA to 2.78 with the effort. Yasiel Puig blasted a solo home run to left field in the sixth to give him a 2-1 lead before departing. Relievers Ronald Belisario and Paco Rodriguez teamed up for a scoreless eighth before closer Kenley Jansen shut the door in the ninth for his 24th save.

James Paxton will “nerd out big-time” to stay healthy next year

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To the surprise of, well, very few, the Mariners didn’t make the cut for the postseason this year. While they threw their hats in the ring for a wild card berth, their pitching staff just couldn’t stay healthy, from the handful of pitchers who contracted season-ending injuries in spring training to Felix Hernandez‘s shoulder bursitis to structural damage in Hisashi Iwakuma‘s right shoulder. Left-hander James Paxton missed 79 days with a lingering head cold, strained left forearm and pectoral strain. Heading into the 2018 season, the lefty told MLB.com’s Greg Johns that he plans to “nerd out big-time” in order to prepare for a healthy, consistent run with the club.

So far, Johns reports, that entails a new diet and workout program, hot yoga sessions and blood testing. “I just think there’s more I can do,” Paxton said. “I haven’t done the blood testing before. Finding out if there’s something I don’t know about myself. It’s just about learning and trying to find what works for me.”

When healthy, the 28-year-old southpaw was lights-out for the Mariners. He helped stabilize the front end of the rotation with a 12-5 record in 24 starts and supplemented his efforts with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 136 innings. Despite taking multiple trips to the disabled list, he built up 4.6 fWAR — the most wins above replacement he’s compiled in any season of his career to date. Had he not been felled by a pectoral injury in mid-August — one that came with a five-week trip to the disabled list — the club might have been been able to make a bigger push for the playoffs.

Of course, even if Paxton manages to stay healthy next season, the Mariners still have the rest of the rotation to worry about. They cycled through 17 starters in 2017 and tied the 2014 Rangers with 40 total pitchers over the course of the season. Per GM Jerry Dipoto, their top four starters (Paxton, Hernandez, Iwakuma, and Tommy John candidate Drew Smyly) only contributed 17% of total innings pitched, just a tad below the 40% average. Finding adequate big league arms and compensating for injured aces (both current and former) will be tough. Still, getting a healthy, dominant Paxton back on the mound for 30+ starts would be a huge get for the team — whether or not the postseason is in their future next year.