Zack Greinke awoke from a restless nap. He was tired, of course, the team had arrived in Washington at a time that should be declared illegal. He hated road trips. But he was a professional baseball player, so he learned to deal with it. Still, it never made mornings like this easy. Something was different about this morning though, like a jolt of electricity was coursing through his veins. It tingled his nerves, something was going to happen. He didn’t know what, but it was something.
Erick Fedde as a rookie has been good. Yes, his peripherals have been pretty ugly, but his ERA going into tonight’s game was 2.93 and he’s been excellent as a starter with an ERA under that. Of course, this is the D-backs, a team who has been absolutely crushing the ball. They wasted no time continuing that against the Nationals.
Jarrod Dyson led things off with a bang, doubling to right field. Ketel Marte and David Peralta followed with walks, bringing up Adam Jones. He’d ground out to third, where Rendon bobbled it before firing onto first for the out but scoring Dyson in the process. Escobar singled, scoring Marte to give Greinke an early 2-0 lead. Walker fouled out and Ahmed grounded out to strand the runners. No need for more runs with Greinke pitching tonight.
Greinke was masterful. I mean, of course he was. He had a perfect game going until the 4th, when Adam Eaton stuck a toe out and got clipped to reach first. He was quickly erased on a ground ball from Rendon. He had a no-hitter going until the 7th, where Walker made a fabulous diving stop on a ball hit from Trea Turner, but had trouble getting a handle on the ball before Turner reached, giving the Nationals their first hit of the game. Eaton singled afterward, but Rendon was doubled up on a 6-4-3 double play and Soto tapped back to Greinke for the 3rd out.
Greinke started the 8th with a ground out from Suzuki. The best hitter of all-time came up, with Mother Nature showering everyone with rain, pushing us into a rain delay.
The offense was behind Greinke all night, scoring 3 more runs before the 4th inning was over. Alex Avila homered to deep center field for 1 run, and Jarrod Dyson homered to right to score Ahmed after he led off with a double to give us our 5-0 scoreline.
When the rain stopped, so did Greinke’s night after he and the team waited an hour to complete this one. He finished with 7.1IP, 2 hits allowed with 3Ks. Yoshihisa Hirano was called upon from the bullpen when play resumed and did his job, getting two outs by grounder and flyout.
After the D-backs went down in order in their half of the 9th, Archie Bradley came on to finish the game. He allowed a 2-out single before striking out Adam Eaton to close the door on Nationals for the 5-0 victory.
☆☆☆ - ZACK GREINKE (7.1IP, 0ER, 1 1b) +.252 WPA
☆☆ - Jarrod Dyson (2 for 4, 1HR, 1 2b, 2R, 2RBI) +.142
☆ - Alex Avila (1 for 3, 1HR, 1RBI, 1R) +.073
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The 4-game series started off as good as you could hope for with the shutout. The D-backs will look to continue their winning ways tomorrow at 4:05pm AZ time against this same Nationals team.