Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke has long been regarded as a good-hitting pitcher, but he still entered Thursday afternoon’s game against the Pirates with a career .597 OPS. For as good as he is compared to other pitchers, he swings the bat about as well as the worst bench players in the league.
So far this year, though, it’s a different story. Along with a dominating pitching performance in a 5-0 win over the Pirates, Greinke went 1-for-3 with a triple. On the mound, Greinke tossed seven shutout innings, limiting the Pirates to two hits and a walk while striking out seven. He’s now 4-1 with a 3.72 ERA and a 39/7 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings on the year.
The triple is Grienke’s fifth extra-base hit in 16 plate appearances this season. He carries a .500/.545/1.300 triple-slash line along with a pair of homers, four RBI, and four runs scored. Those aren’t bench player numbers. Both homers, by the way, came on the same day: April 2 against the Padres.
16 plate appearances is a very small sample, of course, and Greinke won’t continue hitting this well over the course of the entire season. But what fun is baseball without narratives?