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Arizona Diamondbacks – Greinke returns to the hill

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Zack Greinke (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
Zack Greinke (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The season for Zack Greinke, right-hander of the Arizona Diamondbacks, monitored the inconsistency of the team in general

It’s been a long time since the Arizona Diamondbacks won back-to-back games, and even longer for Zack Grienke to earn a victory.

After Tuesday’s night’s victory, that was only the second time since June 24 the Arizona Diamondbacks triumphed in consecutive games. After beating the Milwaukee Brewers at home on Sunday, Greinke picked up a 5-3 over the New York Mets at Citi Field on Tuesday night. This was Greinke’s first game in major leagues since left in the third inning of a contest against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 28. Sidelined with a left oblique strain, Greinke turned a creditable effort, and gained his first win since the 32-year-old defeated the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park on June 18.

Pulled for a pinch hitter and trailing 3-2 in the seventh, Greinke was picked up by a two-run triple by Michael Bourn. That pushed the Diamondbacks into the lead, and Greinke ended up as the pitcher of record.

“It felt good, the oblique is healthy, just building up arm strength and pitch count,” Greinke told MLB.com. “Got into the low 90s today and felt pretty good. Still was making pretty good pitches that last inning.”

Hoping to get his season back on track, Greinke’s effort will likely stand a recurring benchmark. Brought in to help lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to the promised land in 2016, Greinke’s season seems to monitor the team’s overall fortunes.

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When Greinke went down on June 28, the Arizona Diamondbacks were eight games under .500. Clearly, this was not where manager Chip Hale, general manager Dave Stewart, Tony La Russa, the club’s Chief Baseball Officer, envisioned the club near the All-Star break. With Greinke’s win Tuesday night, the Diamondbacks moved to 46-66, but 17.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants, the National League West Division-leading team.

Not that Greinke was considered “a stopper” in the true sense of the phrase, his wins tended to come after losses. Yet, the pitchers, notably Shelby Miller could not respond and pick up wins which Greinke built momentum.  For one, Miller could never get off the mat. Winless in Chase Field and road wins coming only in Atlanta and Philadelphia, Miller’s disappointment and lack of production clearly set this team back.

While Greinke repaired to the disabled list, no one pitcher came forward to pick up Greinke nor the team. Since Greinke went down on June 28 and returned on August 9, starters won five games. That includes Zack Godley (two wins), and single triumphs from Robbie Ray, Archie Bradley and Braden Shipley.

To be fair to Greinke, the right-hander never received help on a consistent basis, and the rotation seemed always in flux. sAt the same time, Greinke indicated this team was short on experience, but a condition which could be overcome.

One factor into the overall equation was injury. With outfielders A. J. Pollock and David Peralta, each lost for essentially the season, Hale was forced to juggle his personnel, and play individuals out of their natural positions. The fact that Greinke was lost for nearly a month and half only exacerbated, along with a plethora of injuries, the Diamondbacks steady fall from grace.

Next: Shipley stays in the rotation

Now with the season winding down the final weeks, Greinke’s odyssey of book-end production can be viewed as a microcosm of a franchise which once held great hope and abundant promise.

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