Zack Greinke doesn't lose it often. But when he has, the Brewers pitcher has really lost it this season.
In nine starts this season, Greinke has registered a quality start in six of his outings. But on two occasions this season, the ace has crashed and burned on the mound.
Against Chicago on April 12, Greinke lasted just 3-23 innings, allowed eight earned runs and struck out five batters, as the Cubs blasted the Brewers, 8-0. And on Saturday night, Greinke seemed to lose it again.
Coming into Saturday's game with a 5-1 record and 2.70 ERA, making him one of the National League's top pitchers to this point, Greinke lasted just 2-13 innings, allowed 10 hits and seven earned runs, and walked three batters, one of which came with the bases loaded. The seven earned runs put the Brewers in too big of a hole, as the team failed to register a hit after the fifth inning and lost to Arizona.
Pitching coach Rick Kranitz said that despite Greinke's tough outing, the Diamondbacks actually hit the Brewers pitcher very well in the first two innings.
"They hit some good pitches early on him," Kranitz said. "Everything they hit went opposite field. He was in trouble and had to work out of jams every inning and that wears you down a little bit."
Added Roenicke: "That first inning, he threw some good pitches, and they hit it. I think that bothers you when you're a pitcher and you think you're throwing the ball really good and they're just getting hit around."
Despite the two performances in which Greinke has struggled toeing the rubber, Greinke has remained the team's most consistent pitching threat, leading the entire team relievers included in ERA, strikeouts, and WHIP. But as a hanging 0-2 curveball floated into the zone for Arizona's John McDonald, and McDonald smashed it out of the park to make it 5-7, it was clear Saturday just wasn't Greinke's night.
Roenicke doesn't expect a repeat performance anytime soon.
"When we score five runs when Zack is pitching," Roenicke said, "most of the time I feel like we're going to win the ballgame."
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