Zack Greinke painted six innings of one-run ball and struck out nine in a no-decision against the Braves on Wednesday.
Greinke will not make another start in May, which means he didn't give up more than one run in any start this month. Thus far, Greinke's surface level performance has given off whiffs of his dominant 2009 with the Royals. Why will he not accrue 10.1 WAR again or continue to pitch quite this well? Diminishing stuff (it's still good): Greinke struck out 242 in 2009, whereas he's whiffed 49 in 61 innings this year. Tonight, he set a new season-high in strikeouts by two.
Will Middlebrooks went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and three RBI in Wednesday's 5-4 win against the Angels.
Middlebrooks' two-run round-tripper off Garrett Richards in the fourth inning gave the Padres a 3-2 lead in an eventual 5-4 triumph. He continues to be a frustrating asset in NL-only leagues, though the third baseman has performed better of late. Middlebrooks has exactly two hits in five of his last eight games. Of course, in the other three he had zero. He's slashing .226/.260/.397 with six homers.
Carlos Perez finished 2-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBI in Wednesday's loss to the Padres.
Perez has taken advantage of Chris Iannetta's season-long Mr. Magoo impersonation at the plate to steal most of the catching at-bats. He's playing just well enough to continue to garner those plate appearances, posting a head-above-water .279/.289/.395 slash line. Perez is not yet drawing walks, but perhaps more will come as he continues to get more comfortable in the batter's box.
Andrew Cashner yielded three runs on eight hits across seven innings Wednesday in a 5-4 victory versus the Angels.
Cashner struck out six and walked one. The right-hander is pitching pretty well on the whole this season -- he has a 3.00 ERA and 1.27 WHIP through 10 starts -- but the win improves his record to a still unsightly 2-7 and the Padres are 2-8 in his starts. Between shoddy defense and an offense that no-shows his outings, Cashner would be forgiven for feeling persecuted. His prognosis will improve as his luck normalizes, as it did tonight (zero errors, five runs of support).
Garrett Richards lasted 6 2/3 innings and allowed five runs -- three earned -- on eight hits in a loss Wednesday to the Padres.
He whiffed six and issued two free passes. Richards (3.12 ERA) still doesn't look like the pitcher he was prior to tearing the patellar tendon in his left knee last August, but he's given us encouraging signs. Perhaps the biggest was the quick return of his high-octane velocity. Richards has struggled with his command. He's walked fewer than two batters in just one of eight starts.
Jason Heyward hit a game-tying homer in the ninth inning Wednesday as the Cardinals beat the Diamondbacks 4-3.
The Cardinals went on to win on a game-ending error from catcher Jordan Pacheco in the ninth. Heyward's homer was his third in 10 games and fifth overall. He's had a miserable season, which is why he was batting eighth against a right-hander tonight, but he's still playing quite a bit better now than he did in April.
Brad Ziegler took a blown save and a loss after giving up two runs -- one earned -- in the ninth Wednesday against the Cardinals.
Ziegler blew the save immediately, giving up a leadoff homer to Jason Heyward in the ninth. After that came a single, a groundout, an intentional walk, a walk and then what looked like an inning-ending double play ball. It turned out to be the game-winner for the Cardinals since a sliding Peter Bourjos hit catcher Jordan Pacheco's leg as he was making the home-to-first relay, sending the throw into right field. Ziegler should hang on to closing duties for now. It was his first blown save in three tries since he replaced Addison Reed.
Mark Trumbo hit his eighth homer and walked twice versus the Cardinals on Wednesday.
Trumbo hit two homers in the series against the Cardinals, one of several potential suitors for his services this summer. It wouldn't have seemed like a fit a day ago, but with Matt Adams (quad) out for a few months and perhaps the rest of the season, a power-hitting first baseman -- one better than Mark Reynolds -- might be a need for St. Louis.