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

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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.

Padres fire Andy Green

Andy Green
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The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.

Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:

I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.

In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.

“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”

Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.

For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.