Seven innings, no runs, four hits, three walks, seven strikeouts. That's a very solid line from any starting pitcher.
After five straight sub-six inning performances, he may finally be returning to form.
“He had great command of all four of his pitches,” catcher
"Any pitcher that does that will have success."
In just one night, his seventh start of the season, Greinke shrunk a near-career high 4.80 earned-run average to 3.89, picking up his third win in the process. He threw a season-high 117 pitches in his longest outing of the season, showed command of all three of his secondary pitches and struck out Atlanta batters in each of the first four innings.
Despite not having the fastball velocity he would have liked, Greinke kept the Braves lineup off balance. For the first time since June 22, he held a team scoreless for as many as seven innings.
"You can go through slumps at any time. Whether it's midseason, early in the season, same thing with pitching," Greinke said. "Right now it's not my sharpest, but I'm just working on it, trying to get better and it worked out good today."
Greinke got some help from his defense, too.
Federowicz threw out
Greinke stayed out of significant trouble until the seventh inning, when back-to-back singles from
But Greinke struck
“I’m thinking if [Uggla] gets on we’ll make a move,”
Two up, two down. In steps B.J. Upton, 3-for-21 all-time against Greinke. This time, Greinke got Upton to pop up a cutter into right field to end the inning.
With only nine pitches, he avoided any runs.
"That's what I want to do, but I've been pitching bad," Greinke said. "I think Donnie's been wanting to let me do it, but I've kind of had to prove that I can get outs."
In the locker room after the game, the dozen-plus media members surrounding Greinke quickly moved on when Puig and his translator strolled into the center of the clubhouse.
It was his show, after all. But that doesn't seem to bother Greinke.