During a start on June 28 in Miami, Dodgers television analyst Orel Hershiser said Zack Greinke was having "one of the best first halves in the history of pitching," a statement which seemed hyperbolic at the time. Well, maybe Hershiser was on to something.
What went right
Greinke has a 1.39 ERA this season.
One point three nine.
That's the lowest ERA by anyone with at least 100 innings before the All-Star break since the Year of the Pitcher, in 1968.
Greinke brings with him to Cincinnati an active scoreless streak of 35⅔ innings. His last five starts have been scoreless, and he has allowed zero or one run 14 times in 18 starts this season.
"For me it's like playing a video game. He can put the ball anywhere he wants," catcher Yasmani Grandal said of Greinke on Thursday. "Do I want a curveball here, do I want a change up, pitch him backwards, or go straight up?"
What went wrong
Greinke had the audacity to allow two runs in an inning four times so far this season, including in two different innings on June 2 at Coors Field.
He walked three Padres on April 24. That was the only time he walked more than two in any start so far this season.
Greinke will start on Tuesday night for the National League, the 11th Dodgers pitcher to do so. Ten pitchers have started one All-Star Game as a Dodger — the last was Brad Penny in 2006 — and Don Drysdale started five times.
In two previous All-Star appearances, in 2009 with the Royals and in 2014 with the Dodgers, Greinke pitched a perfect inning with two strikeouts each time.
Great American Ballpark
Greinke is 4-1 with a 2.70 ERA in six career starts in Cincinnati, with 43 strikeouts and nine walks in 40 innings. In five of his six starts at Great American Ballpark, his ERA was exactly 3.00 — allowing two runs in six innings four times and allowing three runs in a complete-game win once. In his other start, in 2011, he allowed one run in seven innings.