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« Fantasy Baseball Diary: Free Agent Pickups | Main | Chris Davis is Making Earl Weaver Proud »

Greinke Plays Keep-Away in Dodgers Debut

Zack Greinke looked like $147 million well spent during his first start with the Dodgers last night, striking out six, walking none and allowing just two hits as L.A. shut out the Pirates 3-0. Greinke struggled with an elbow injury during spring training, but he showed superb command against the Bucs. Just ask manager Don Mattingly:

"I think it's rare to have that kind of touch with his breaking stuff. He was pretty amazing, really," Mattingly said. "He was like Felix [Hernandez]. I've seen both those guys pitch when they were 19, and both of them had great command early and great touch with their off-speed stuff early, and you don't see that."

Greinke avoided the fat part of the plate last night, throwing just 17 of his 92 pitches (18.5%) to the horizontal middle of the strike zone. For comparison's sake, the MLB average for starters is about 24%. The Dodgers' free agent prize confounded the Pirates by playing keep-away. Check out his pitch location last night:

Greinke's pitch location vs. Pirates left-handed hitters


Greinke's pitch location vs. Pirates right-handed hitters


Greinke threw 63% of his pitches to the outer third of the plate against Pittsburgh, and Pirates batters went 2-for-14 with four strikeouts against those offerings. Playing keep-away is nothing new for Greinke, though. He has thrown the second-highest percentage of outside pitches among starters since the beginning of the 2012 season:

Highest percentage of outside pitches among starters, 2012-13

He's got 118 strikeouts on pitches thrown away from 2012-13, a tally topped only by Justin Verlander Yovani Gallardo and Max Scherzer among starters.

Most strikeouts on pitches thrown away, 2012-13

Looks like the elbow's just fine, thanks.

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