Zack Greinke is all the rage, as he’s two scoreless starts away from matching or exceeding Orel Hershiser’s major league record of 59 consecutive scoreless innings pitched. He increased his streak to 43 2/3 innings — the longest such streak since Hershiser — with eight terrific innings against Bryce Harper and the Nationals on Sunday, out-dueling Max Scherzer.
Greinke has been baseball’s best starter to date, and Harper has been baseball’s best hitter this season. So it was a veritable clash of the titans and Greinke ultimately won out as Harper went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk against him. Harper still wasn’t impressed by Greinke, however. Via CSN Washington’s Chase Hughes:
“I think he was okay. When you’re getting five to six inches off of the plate, you better win the game,” Harper said. “For me, I don’t think he was very tough. He’s a great pitcher, he does what he does, but when you’re getting six inches off the plate it’s pretty tough to face him.”
Harper did acknowledge Greinke’s prowess, calling him a “damn good pitcher”, but admitted that he doesn’t watch Greinke with any regularity, suggesting the media ask someone on the West coast instead.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”