Tag: Zack Greinke


2015 All-Star Game Preview



CINCINNATI — All of the parties, the Derbys the parades and the baloney is out of the way. Now it’s time for the actual All-Star Game.

Well, not quite yet. This evening there will still be a lot of . . . stuff. Pete Rose will make an appearance on the field here at Great American Ballpark, and I predict his ovation will be louder than even that given to Todd Frazier last night.

Also, the four “Greatest Living Ballplayers” and the “Franchise Four” of each team — all of which were voted on by fans — will be announced prior to the game. One of those Greatest Living Ballplayers is set to throw out the first pitch. That should create some controversy and argument fodder over the next couple of baseball-free days.

The U.S. Navy will conduct a flyover featuring four FA-18 Super Hornets. They practiced here yesterday. They’re loud. Not quite as loud, but definitely amplified will be Ciara, who will sing the U.S. National Anthem and Leo Welsh who will perform the Canadian Anthem. Country singer Josh Turner will sing “God Bless America.”

But then there is a game. Here’s what you need to know:

First Pitch: 8:15PM
Channel: FOX

American League Lineup

1. Mike Trout, CF, Angels
2. Josh Donaldson, 3B, Blue Jays
3. Albert Pujols, 1B, Angels
4. Nelson Cruz, DH, Mariners
5. Lorenzo Cain, RF, Royals
6. Adam Jones, LF, Orioles
7. Salvador Perez, C, Royals
8. Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros
9. Alcides Escobar, SS, Royals
Dallas Keuchel, SP, Astros

Notes: Quite a familiar AL group. Nelson Cruz, Josh Donaldson, Sal Perez, Mike Trout and Adam Jones all started last year, and many of them are on their third or fourth go-around. Missing is Alex Gordon and there is also no Miguel Cabrera due to injuries. Chris Sale may only be available in an emergency. Sonny Gray is unavailable due to pitching on Sunday.

National League Lineup

1. Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pirates
2. Todd Frazier, 3B, Reds
3. Bryce Harper, RF, Nationals
4. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks
5. Buster Posey, C, Giants
6. Anthony Rizzo, DH, Cubs
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS, Cardinals
8. Joc Pederson, LF, Dodgers
9. DJ LeMahieu, 2B, Rockies
Zack Greinke, SP, Dodgers

Notes: Joc Pederson is filling in for the injured Matt Holliday. No Giancarlo Stanton or Dee Gordon for the same reasons. Max Scherzer pitched on Sunday or else you figure he’d get the start. Otherwise it’s McCutchen and Goldschmidt and a lot of guys who haven’t been here much. At least as starters. There’s a lot of experience here from guys who were reserves in the past.

  • All of the reserves and pitchers — plus and minus a few substitutions — can be seen here.

As for a prediction? Well, these things are total crapshoots. I think Ned Yost constructed a more real life roster with middle relievers and utility guys in places, whereas Bruce Bochy has more starters and veterans. But if that is an advantage to Yost, it’s probably made up for by the fact that Bochy is the better manager.

Ultimately, however, this is the most unpredictable game played all year because it’s almost entirely not a game as we tend to understand baseball. But hey, at least it doesn’t count for anything important, right?

Oh, wait. It does. Something that has, historically, mattered a whole lot. As in,since 1985, the team with home-field advantage has won 23 of 29 World Series. And until the Giants beat the Royals on the road in Game Seven last year, the home team had won nine straight World Series Game Sevens.

Play ball?

All-Star game lineups, with Trout and McCutchen leading off

Mike Trout

Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke and Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel have been named the starting pitchers for tomorrow night’s All-Star game in Cincinnati and here are the starting lineups announced by managers Bruce Bochy and Ned Yost:

CF Mike Trout
3B Josh Donaldson
1B Albert Pujols
DH Nelson Cruz
RF Lorenzo Cain
LF Adam Jones
C Salvador Perez
2B Jose Altuve
SS Alcides Escobar

Albert Pujols and Adam Jones step into the lineup for injured voted-in starters Miguel Cabrera and Alex Gordon. Adam Jones and Lorenzo Cain move from center field to the corner spots to leave center field for reigning MVP Mike Trout, who moves to the leadoff spot after batting second behind Derek Jeter last year.

CF Andrew McCutchen
3B Todd Frazier
RF Bryce Harper
1B Paul Goldschmidt
C Buster Posey
DH Anthony Rizzo
SS Jhonny Peralta
LF Joc Pederson
2B D.J. LeMahieu

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo gets the start at designated hitter. Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson replaces voted-in starter Matt Holliday in left field, leaving center field for Andrew McCutchen. D.J. LeMahieu replaces the injured Dee Gordon at second base and bats ninth.

Zack Greinke and Dallas Keuchel named All-Star starters

Zack Greinke AP

All-Star managers Bruce Bochy and Ned Yost have chosen their starting pitchers, with right-hander Zack Greinke of the Dodgers getting the assignment for the National League and left-hander Dallas Keuchel of the Astros being the pick for the American League.

Greinke’s excellence is well known. He’s a three-time All-Star and former Cy Young winner who currently has a 35.2-inning scoreless streak and an MLB-best 1.39 ERA that’s the lowest by any starting pitcher at the All-Star break since 1968.

The other starting pitchers on the NL roster are Madison Bumgarner, A.J. Burnett, Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGrom, Carlos Martinez, Clayton Kershaw, Shelby Miller, Max Scherzer, and Michael Wacha.

Keuchel is a great story. He was never considered a top prospect, had a losing record with a 3.74 ERA in the minors, and went 9-18 with a 5.20 ERA for the Astros in 2012 and 2013. Then last season he took a huge step forward, throwing 200 innings with a 2.93 ERA, and Keuchel has been even better this season with an 11-4 record and 2.23 ERA in a league-high 137 innings.

The other starting pitchers on the AL roster are Chris Archer, Sonny Gray, Felix Hernandez, David Price, Chris Sale, and Hector Santiago.

Last year’s All-Star starters were Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals for the National League and Felix Hernandez of the Mariners for the American League.

Zack Greinke extends scoreless streak to 35.2 innings and lowers ERA to 1.39

Zack Greinke

Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke finished his spectacular first half Thursday night with eight shutout innings against the Phillies, heading into the All-Star break with an MLB-best 1.39 ERA and 35.2 consecutive scoreless innings.

Last season Greinke’s rotation-mate Clayton Kershaw threw 41 straight scoreless innings, so he can try to match or surpass that feat in his first start of the second half. He hasn’t allowed a run since June 13.

Overall this season Greinke is 8-2 with a 106/20 K/BB ratio in 123 innings, holding opponents to a .191 batting average in 18 starts. And his 1.39 ERA is the lowest mark any starting pitcher has posted in the first half since 1968–also known as “The Year Of The Pitcher”–when Bob Gibson, Luis Tiant, and Don Drysdale all went into the All-Star break with sub-1.40 ERAs.

Gibson finished 1968 with a 1.12 ERA, which stands as the modern record. Orel Hershiser holds the record for consecutive scoreless innings with 59.

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Zack Greinke

Dodgers 6, Phillies 0: The Phillies were shut out for the second straight night, this time by Zack Greinke over eight one-hit innings. He only threw 94 pitches and probably could’ve gone the distance, but Don Mattingly likely pitied the Phillies and allowed them to take a shot at a reliever. They couldn’t do anything against Joel Peralta either, so I guess it didn’t matter. Greinke didn’t walk anyone. And he reduced his ERA to a crazy 1.39.

Yankees 6, Athletics 2: Masahiro Tanaka allowed only one earned run, two total, in seven and two-thirds innings, Jacoby Ellsbury drove in two and newly-named All-Star Brett Gardner went 3-for-5. You should really read the game story, though, which focuses on Cole Figueroa’s debut for the Yankees. The key takeaway: after his Wednesday night game for Scranton, on the road in Syracuse, he was called up and took a car service from Syracuse down to a hotel in Manhattan, getting there at 3AM. That may sound fancy, but I have had the privilege of using a car service before and I can tell you that there is nothing more awkward in the world than either (a) talking to the car service guy; or (b) NOT talking to the car service guy. It’s like that awkward small-talk-with-the-hair-stylist thing, but way longer — it’s almost four hours between Syracuse and Manhattan — with an added sheen of class stuff on top because, really, who gets driven around like that? So props to Figueroa for his 2015 debut, his sleep deprivation AND surviving a four hour ride with a total stranger.

White Sox 2, Blue Jays 0: Jeff Samardzija with a four-hit shutout. If the White Sox are considering trading him it was a nice showcase, especially given that Toronto has the best offense in the game. The Sox have won seven of nine.

Royals 8, Rays 3: Yordano Ventura came back from the DL and pitched five innings. Not fantastic innings, but healthy ones, and that’s more important right now. The Royals scored three runs in the first inning, all coming on the first five pitches. The sweep the Rays. They’re gonna miss Alex Gordon, but they’re gonna be fine.

Cardinals 4, Pirates 1: Carlos Martinez shuts out the Pirates over seven and a third innings, striking out eight. The Cards had a 4.5 game lead over Pittsburgh coming into this series and extend it to 5.5. There’s a lot of baseball to be played, but if the Cards can bury the Pirates in this series, on the road, heading into the break, it would go a long way toward ending the NL Central race before it even becomes a race.

Indians 3, Astros 1: Cody Anderson pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning in his fourth big league start. He has a 0.89 ERA since being called up from Columbus. People always seem to do better after leaving Columbus.

Marlins 2, Reds 0: Jose Fernandez wasn’t fantastic in his first start back from Tommy John surgery. He was amazing in his second, however, striking out nine batters over seven scoreless innings. He didn’t walk anyone and threw 72 out of 94 pitches for strikes. And he sure loves Miami: he’s undefeated through the first 22 home starts of his career.

Tigers 4, Twins 2: There sure were a lot of good pitching performances last night. Another: David Price’s, who allowed two unearned runs in eight innings. Ian Kinsler was 2-for-4 and drove in three. The Tigers are 8-2 against the Twins this year. They’re also amazingly dominant against the Indians. Against everyone else they rather suck. Ain’t no one loves the unbalanced schedule more than Detroit.

Rockies 5, Braves 3: Troy Tulowitzki extended his hitting streak to 21 games and Carlos Gonzalez hit three doubles. Nolan Arenado had three hits too. How a team can have a core like those three and do nothing is beyond me. It was a soggy night, with a two-hour rain delay just after the dang game started, which ended up burning both starters, seemingly needlessly. I guess they don’t have the Weather Channel in Denver.

Mariners 7, Angels 2: Felix Hernandez threw seven shutout innings and won his 11th game of the year. That ties him with Dallas Keuchel for most wins in the American League while Gerrit Cole has 12. He’s on perfect rest to start the All-Star Game on Tuesday. If I’m Ned Yost, that’s the call I make.