I respect the hell out of this. I really do. A few years back, Zack Greinke had his battles with anxiety, and has since carried the reputation that he’s supposed to be this guy who would wilt under pressure and can’t handle big markets. I’m not saying that a simple stolen base disproves those theories. I do tend to disagree with those theories. However, the easy take on this stolen base would be to say that it was stupid. Because it is. Well, perhaps “stupid” is too strong of a word. It’s risky and ill-advised, especially the way in which he did it, leading with his throwing arm going into the bag. Put that aside for a second. What else do you take away from it? Greinke is the highest paid pitcher in baseball history by average annual value. What are the Diamondbacks paying him to do? They’re paying him to win. When you’re a pitcher in the National League, there are ways that you can impact the game beyond what you do on the mound.
That was a one-run game against a divisional opponent, the team who is now a half-game in front of the Dbacks. Greinke swipes that bag to put himself in scoring position, the next two batters got base hits, and Greinke scored to put the Dbacks up by a pair of runs. Arizona ended up winning that game by a run. If Greinke doesn’t steal that base, perhaps we’re talking about a different outcome at the end of this one. And at 35-40 on the season, the Diamondbacks have greatly underachieved after their surprisingly active offseason. But don’t let that record fool you. Despite their record, they’re an incredibly talented ball club that is still playing to win on a nightly basis. They’ve won seven of their last ten games, and they’re 22-15 on the road this season, which is tied for the third most road wins in the National League.