Right-hander Zack Grienke of the Arizona Diamondbacks suffered one the worst losses in his major league career Sunday in Boston
Since rocked in his opening day effort for seven runs in a loss to the Rockies, Greinke seemed to flat-line. Sure, he picked up 11 wins this season, but his elevated ERA portends trouble. After beaten down by the Boston Red Sox Sunday afternoon, Greinke’s record dropped 11-4, but the ERA of 4.31 stands among his all-time high. During the 2005 season, Greinke went 5-17 and a 5.80 ERA for Kansas City.
One game removed from coming off the disabled list with a right oblique strain, Greinke was last able to defeat the New York Mets last Tuesday night. Coming into his start at Fenway, Greinke’s ERA was 3.67. Now, that’s ballooned to over four earned runs per nine innings. This was after he surrendered 10 hits and nine earned runs in 1.2 innings to the Red Sox.
“I always considered my first Arizona outing my worst one,” Greinke told MLB.com. “But here, maybe it happened so fast I didn’t really realize how bad it actually it was, but it definitely can be compared with it. Just seemed like my stuff was really flat (Sunday). Most of the time, guys don’t hit my off-speed very good, but they hit all my off-speed pitches today. I gave up a home run on a changeup, slider and curveball. Also a base hit on all those pitches. Two hits on curves, two hits on changeups, one hit on sliders, and usually I can rely on getting outs on those pitches.”
With the kind of numbers from the Boston game, Greinke joins a disturbing trend. Recent starters gave up a plethora of runs, and kept the Arizona Diamondbacks from staying competitive. For their first 117 games (48-69), the Arizona Diamondbacks have the worst ERA (5.09) in the National League.
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Last Friday night against the Red Sox, lefty Patrick Corbin continued his melt-down season. Lasting only 1.2 innings in Fenway Park, the lefty allowed nine hits, eight runs, four earned and his ERA swelled to 5.58. Corbin has yet to win a game in Chase Field. Manager Chip Hale hinted from Boston this weekend that Corbin’s placement in the rotation would be reevaluated.
Before the Diamondbacks left on their recently-concluded current road trip, in which they spilt six-games, Hale indicated all starters would be under a constant microscope. At this point, only Braden Shipley, recalled from Triple-A Reno in late July, has been effective recently. In four starts to date, and three quality starts, Shipley continues to impress. His next start is slated for this Tuesday night at home.
While Shipley seems to stabilize the rotation, Greinke’s season of mixed results looms paramount. While his 11 wins remains commendable, his ERA and hit hard in several starts is uncharacteristic. After signing a $206 million contract for six-years, it’s not likely Greinke will be pulled from the rotation any time soon. With still a month and one-half remaining in the season, the main goal is to keep their collective heads above water. Already, too many life jackets have been tossed to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Arizona Diamondbacks return to Chase Field for a brief three-game home stand against the New York Mets.
On Monday night, lefty Robbie Ray (5-11, 4.57 ERA) takes on righty Bartolo Colon (10-6, 3.35). For Tuesday night, look for right Branden Shipley (2-1, 2.96) to face Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 2.75). For the Wednesday finale, it’s right Zack Godley (3-2, 5.24) scheduled to start for the Arizona Diamondbacks and lefty Jon Niese (8-6, 5.20) for New York. All games begin at 6:40 p.m.
Among career at-bats, Ray has limited numbers against the Mets. Only Jay Bruce (3-for-9, one home run), has more than three career at-bats of New York regulars.
Against Colon, Michael Bourn is 1-for-7. Paul Goldschmidt is 2-for-6. Chris Owings is 3-for-6). Jean Segura is 3-for-9.
Against Niese, Bourn is 9-for-25 (.360). Goldschmidt is 3-for-13 (.231). Segura is 5-for-14 (.375). Welington Castillo is 4-for-16, and Rickie Weeks, Jr. is 4-for-14 (.285).
Against Syndergaard, Goldschmidt is 2-for-6. Owings is 1-for-6, and Jake Lamb is 0-6.