Zack Greinke gives up 4 HRs in Opening Day loss for D-backs
Zack Greinke treated Arizona Diamondbacks fans to some deja vu from his first-ever outing for the organization, and it was not the good kind.
In 3.2 innings on Thursday’s Opening Day against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Greinke gave up seven earned runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts. He threw 82 pitches and was replaced by Matt Koch.
The day brought flashbacks to Greinke’s Opening Day nod in 2016 at Chase Field when he lasted 4.0 innings and also gave up seven earned runs.
The long ball was the issue for Greinke, who gave up four of them on the day.
After flirting with danger in the first inning, it looked like Greinke escaping that inning with only one run on the scoreboard for the Dodgers could be a positive going forward. While he was at 30 pitches already, it could have been far worse.
Turns out, it got to that point anyway.
After Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes singled on an eight-pitch at-bat in the second, a sac bunt got him to second before Los Angeles center fielder Joc Pederson hit the first pitch he saw 420 feet to center for a two-run homer. The long ball off a 71 mph curve would be one of three the Dodgers would hit off Greinke’s off-speed pitches.
Greinke recorded four straight outs from there, once again providing a glimmer of hope that the ace would be able to patch together a somewhat manageable outing.
The fourth inning eradicated that.
Cody Bellinger singled to start and then Enrique Hernandez homered off a Greinke curve on the next at-bat to make it 5-0. Before Hernandez could even get his batting helmet off in the dugout, Barnes sent a Greinke changeup to the seats in center for another home run.
Two straight outs were followed by Corey Seager hitting the Dodgers’ fourth homer of the day for a 7-0 Arizona deficit. That was on a fastball that only reached 88 mph.
At 82 pitches, Greinke was pulled by D-backs manager Torey Lovullo.
“Yeah, it was bad,” Greinke said. “Not really much to build off, because all that stuff was bad, so that’s probably the most disappointing thing.”
The curveball in which Greinke had two homers hit off was a problematic pitch for him to command all day.
Zach Greinke's been struggling to locate his curve. The two homers by Joc Pederson and Kiké Hernández have both been against this pitch. (The one that Austin Barnes slugged was a change, but also poorly located.) pic.twitter.com/HwhMrBUzO3
— Positive Residual (@presidual) March 28, 2019
The last time Greinke allowed at least four home runs was against the Dodgers in 2016.
Not that it mattered much, but there was no run support for Greinke. Through five innings, the D-backs had two hits and no runs.
The D-backs wound up falling 12-5. The Dodgers hit eight home runs, the most ever by any team on Opening Day and a new D-backs franchise record for most allowed in a game.
“You band together, and you get off the ropes, stagger back into the middle of the ring and keep punching,” Lovullo said. “And I know this team will do that.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.