Dodgers starter Zack Greinke is on a hell of a roll right now, having not allowed an earned run in his last 43 and two-thirds innings. He extended his streak of scoreless innings—the most since Orel Hersheiser pitched 59 straight shutout frames in 1988—with a dominant outing against the Nationals yesterday. But Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper didn’t find Greinke’s eight-inning, 11-strikeout performance to be all that hot.
Here’s what Harper, who walked and struck out twice in his three at-bats against Greinke, had to say about the Dodgers’ ace (via CSN Washington):
“I think he was okay. When you’re getting five to six inches off of the plate, you better win the game,” Harper said. “For me, I don’t think he was very tough. He’s a great pitcher, he does what he does, but when you’re getting six inches off the plate it’s pretty tough to face him.”
That’s good shit-talk from a guy whose whole aura suggests he was genetically engineered for the purpose of becoming the best and most petulant player in baseball—the game is a lot more fun when players as good as Harper aren’t afraid to run their mouths a bit.
However! Harper is also tripping in this particular instance. His beef with the generous strike zone Greinke was allegedly enjoying seems to have stemmed from his seventh-inning strikeout. On a 3-1 count, Harper began jogging to first after taking a breaking ball on the inside corner, only to be called back to the plate when home plate umpire Bill Miller called the pitch a strike. Harper punched out on the next pitch, and proceeded to have a mini-meltdown at the plate.
Based on the Pitch f/x data from that particular at-bat, Harper had no reason to be upset with the call:
That red square on the right side of the zone, clearly a strike, is the supposed ball that had Harper so upset. That’s a clown complaint, bro.