Last night Zack Greinke took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He quickly gave up a couple of hits and then rain shortened his night, but he’s not disappointed about a lost no-no at all. Why? Because he thinks throwing a no-hitter would be a hassle.
There’d be too much attention with throwing a no-hitter, he feels. He dreads the “bunch of nonsense that comes with it.” He dealt with enough of that when he won his Cy Young in 2009. Maybe if he could throw one in complete anonymity – no game broadcast, no postgame interviews, in the middle of Ray Kinsella’s cornfields where he’d be visible only to the saccharinely pure of baseball heart – he’d enjoy it. Otherwise, not so much.
“It’d probably be more of a hassle than anything,” he said.
Anyone who has followed the guy’s career even moderately closely knows that that’s a pretty on-brand Zack Greinke response. He’s just operating with a different set of priorities and assumptions about the world than most people carry and, unlike most people, doesn’t seem terribly interested in pretending he doesn’t. I’ve always found that pretty refreshing about the guy. Which would probably annoy him to hear, but I don’t care.
As Buchanan notes in the article, though, a no-hitter doesn’t seem super likely for Greinke anyway. The guy is just around the plate too much. Throws too many strikes. That’s a key to pitching success but it’s also, inevitably, gonna cause you to give up a single or three even on your best night. Just ask Greg Maddux. He was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball history but he never tossed a no-hitter because he simply wasn’t too interested in making guys chase a ton of pitches out of the zone.
Maddux did OK with that approach. Greinke has done just fine with it too.