Zack Greine’s Diamondbacks career has not gotten off to a picturesque start. The $206.5-million pitcher has an unsightly 9.90 ERA through two starts– he has already allowed more runs this season than he allowed through the first two months of last.
But tonight’s series opener against the Padres may be the night where all of this changes.
Greinke’s first two opponents, the Cubs and Rockies, have the first and fourth-most runs scored in the National League this season. The Padres have been shut out four times already this season, including a record-setting three straight times to start out the season. So Greinke is facing by far the weakest lineup he has faced thus far.
He will also be pitching in a park that is very pitcher-friendly. Petco Park is very kind to pitchers– it was the tenth-most pitcher-friendly park last season– and this has been especially true for Zack Greinke. He has a lifetime 3-1 record with a 1.57 ERA in seven starts there. This is the lowest ERA he has had for any ballpark where he has made at least five starts.
In addition to these external factors Greinke showed signs of life at the end of his start against the Cubs. Seeing four runs allowed in the box score is never pretty, but Greinke allowed just one run three hits in the five innings that followed a three-run first. He even retired the last seven batters he has faced. So he’ll be coming in with some momentum.
Greinke will miss facing the Dodgers, his old team, by just one day. Based on the way he has been pitching lately, this may not be a bad thing.