The Los Angeles Dodgers' All-Star Pitcher, Zack Greinke, entered Sunday's game against the Washington Nationals with a current streak of 35 2/3 innings without allowing a run. Eight innings, eleven strikeouts and just three hits later, Greinke's scoreless streak now sits at 43 2/3 innings.
"It's hard to be any better than this" said Dodgers' manager, Don Mattingly.
How hard? Well unless you are currently 35 years old, or older, you probably don't recall the last time a pitcher began stirring up the media as much as Greinke has with his scoreless innings' streak.
The mark that Hershiser beat was a 20 year old scoreless innings' record of 58, set by Don Drysdale in 1968. Interstingly enough, Drysdale was also a Los Angeles Dodger. He beat the record that was previously established 55 years ealier in 1913 by Walter Johnson who ironically played for another Washington team, the Senators.
Since 1988, only one other pitcher has thrown for 40 or more consecutive shutout innings and that was Arizona's Brandon Webb in 2007. Webb's scoreless innings' streak ended at exactly 42 consecutive innings. But we will note that two other pitchers fell just short of 40 consecutive scoreless innings during this span, and they were Kenny Rogers (39) in 1995, and Greg Maddux (39 1/3) in 2000.
So what are the odds of Zack Greinke breaking Hershiser's record? Not as good as you might think. According to ESPN, the odds of an average Major League Baseball pitcher throwing 59 consecutive innings is in the ballpark of 71,000,000 to 1. With Greinke currently sitting at 42 2/3 innings of consecutive shutout ball, he still needs 16 1/3 more innings to tie the mark. To break Hershiser's record, Greinke needs another 16 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, which if ESPN's numbers are correct, and if history is of any indication, amounts to odds that are still stacked against him.
Still, the "Under" just might be worth considering in Greinke's next couple of starts.
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