Throwing a no-hitter is something that most pitchers dream of. It’s a monumental accomplishment for hurlers, something that ensures their name will always be part of history.
Zack Greinke of the Arizona Diamondbacks isn’t like most pitchers, though. He was three innings away from a no-hitter against the Washington Nationals on Thursday night when he allowed his first hit, but he wasn’t upset or disappointed. After the game, he actually seemed relieved.
“It’d probably be more of a hassle than anything,” Greinke told MLB.com. “Just [like] the Sports Illustrated article. A bunch of nonsense comes with it. I don’t think about no-hitters, ever.”
Greinke doesn’t want to throw a no-hitter because he doesn’t want the added attention. That’s the most Zack Greinke thing ever. And the Sports Illustrated article he mentioned? It came out just over 10 years ago — and he still remembers the hassle it caused him! Zack Greinke really, really just wants to be left alone to pitch.
That doesn’t mean the Diamondbacks dugout wasn’t rooting for it to happen, though. Manager Torey Lovullo was hopeful that this start, Greinke’s 429th in the majors, would be the one.
“I was thinking about that in about the fifth inning,” Lovullo told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com. “With his pitch count as low as it was, I was thinking this was going to be the time for him.”
It wasn’t his time, but Greinke turned in a gem of a start and helped the Diamondbacks beat the Nationals 5-0. Even though he didn’t no-hit the Nationals, he allowed just two hits and no walks over 7.1 innings, and on 75 pitches to boot. In fact, Greinke’s been one of the best pitchers in the National League this season. His 2.65 ERA ranks fifth, and he’s giving up fewer walks than ever before. Greinke’s 0.884 WHIP ties his career best from 2015, and his 6.07 strikeout-to-walk ratio is by far the best of his career.
Greinke still has just over a half-season of starts to make, so who knows what those numbers will look like after he’s pitched another 110 innings. But what we’re seeing so far is pure, vintage Greinke — all the way down to his complaints about the hassles of pitching well.
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