In Zack Greinke’s first start as a Diamondback, things did not go as perfectly as many D-backs fans eagerly hoped and expected. Greinke gave up 7 earned runs in a short outing of just four innings in his desert debut. But fans shouldn’t fear Greinke not living up to expectations.
Last year Greinke dominated the entire league posting a 1.66 ERA over the span of 222.2 innings while notching 19 wins, a career high. This led to him being one of the highest valued free agents on the market come fall. He landed in the Phoenix signing a 6 year $206.5 million deal.
Prior to Monday night’s game, Greinke had started 6 games at Chase Field over his tenure with the Dodgers from 2013-2015 and never lost a game, flashing an impressive 0.66 ERA while keeping his opponents average under .200.
His rough debut was his worst start at Chase Field since he was with the Brewers in 2012, in which he gave up 7 runs in 2.1 innings. Since then he has arguably gotten better with age.
After bouncing from the Royals to the Angels and then to the Brewers, he ended up with the Dodgers where his W.A.R went up every year, spiking from 3.9 to 9.3 over that span. With the Dodgers, he never had an ERA higher than 2.71 and had some of his lowest ERA’s of his career.
Adding to that, Ken Rosenthal reported that Greinke had the flu during his start Monday night. That most likely factored into his performance because in 9 starts in the desert, Greinke had only taken home only two losses before his debut.
Overall Greinke has a great value not only on the mound but also at the plate. He has hit a homerun in every season over the last 5 years, excluding the 2012 season (though he made up for that by slapping two last season).
In addition, Greinke has had multiple seasons where he has posted scoreless inning streaks (2009, 38.0, 2015 45.2) so he could be in line to dial in it once more. Also, staying in the NL West gives Greinke the advantage of having experience versus hitters that he has built up over the last 3 seasons.
The odds are in the favor of the veteran Greinke to turn it around from his first start, as he hasn’t had an ERA over 3.83 since his 2011 season with the Brewers. And in 10 seasons in the MLB as a full time starter, he has only posted an ERA above 4.00 twice.
Look for Greinke to turn it around in an anticipated match up versus the Cubs on Saturday, whom he shutout over 6 innings last year.