Diamondbacks’ Zack Greinke finding a groove: By the numbers
The Diamondbacks broke the record for most double-digit strikeout performances in a row by one staff, and ace Zack Greinke has been a big part of that this year.
Despite a decrease in velocity from last year, he’s proven to be effective. More than the strikeouts, his command has been on point, giving him an excellent strikeout-to-walk ratio.
It’s set himself up for a pitchers’ duel Thursday in a series-opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Gerrit Cole. As Arizona enters, here’s what Greinke’s season looks like so far, by the numbers.
Allowing 1.65 walks per nine innings, Greinke ranks ninth with the lowest walk rate among MLB starting pitchers that qualify for the statistic.
Greinke is sixth with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5.875. He’s been especially great of late with 33 strikeouts to just three walks over his past four starts (27 innings).
Greinke has already produced 1.6 WAR, or wins above replacement player, which is good for 10th-best among pitchers. Chris Sale of Boston leads MLB with a WAR of 2.3.
According to PITCHf/x, just 29.7 percent of Greinke’s pitches are registering as four-seam fastballs, which would be the lowest of his career if it holds for the rest of the season. Last season, 40.8 percent of the right-hander’s pitches were four-seamers. Instead, Greinke’s two-seamer has received a bump from 10.5-percent usage in 2016 to 19.8-percentage usage this year.
He’s also seen a usage increase of his slider, picking that pitch 25.4 percent of the time. Last year he recorded a career-high by using the slider on 20.8 percent of his pitches.
Greinke ranks 11th in the majors in getting out of trouble with a left-on-base percentage of 84.5.
So far, Greinke’s velocity hasn’t ticked up. Through seven starts, he’s still throwing his four-seamer at a career-slowest 90.5 mph on average and the two-seamer likewise at 90.4 mph.