NL West no match for Greinke, Kershaw
Zack Greinke has been a difference-maker for the Dodgers. The Dodgers have won back-to-back National League West titles since signing Greinke as a free agent. He has teamed with Clayton Kershaw to give the Dodgers a dominant 1-2 punch, bringing back memories of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.
The Dodgers have dominated their division since the start of the 2013 season, compiling a 87-65 record within the division. And it's been the Greinke-Kershaw duo that has been the key.
Since 2013, Greinke is 21-1 with a 1.88 ERA in 31 starts against NL West teams. The Dodgers are 25-6 in his starts. Two no-decisions were at Coors Field, with Greinke allowing seven earned runs in 12 1/3 innings. He allowed one run in each of the four other no-decisions.
Kershaw, the NL Cy Young Award winner in three of the past four seasons, is 20-8 with a 2.24 ERA against the NL West since the start of 2013. The Dodgers are 22-13 in his starts.
Martin Prado's two-out double in the eighth inning of the Marlins' 6-1 victory against the Phillies on Wednesday was the seventh time since the RBI became an official statistic in 1920 that a team won scoring six runs with only one RBI, the first since the Mets beat San Diego, 6-0, on June 15, 1975. Tom Seaver had the only RBI with a ninth-inning single.
In the Marlins' win, Prado's double plated the final run, and it came after Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera dropped a two-out, bases-loaded fly ball from Dee Gordon, allowing three runs to score. The Fish also scored on an error by Phils pitcher Cole Hamels and a balk by Luis Garcia.
Other games in which a team scored six runs with only one RBI:
Reds, 6-0, over the Cubs on May 24, 1947
Pirates, 6-2, over the Cardinals on Sept. 28, 1937
Phillies, 6-3 (only eight innings), over the Giants in the second game of a doubleheader on Sept. 25, 1932
White Sox, 6-3, over the Indians on April 28, 1923
Red Sox, 6-4, over the Senators on May 31, 1922
The most runs scored without an RBI were five by the Reds in a 5-1 victory against the Astros on Aug. 11, 1971, and the Cubs in a 5-1 victory against the Pirates on July 2, 1948.
Tommy John totals
Tigers closer Joe Nathan is scheduled to become the 964th player to undergo Tommy John surgery, according to a list compiled by @MLBPlayerAnalys, the 28th since the first of the year.
Others to undergo the operation this year with a big league resume are Tim Collins of the Royals, Aaron Crow of the Marlins, Josh Edgin and Zack Wheeler of the Mets, Yu Darvish of the Rangers and Joel Hanrahan, who is a free agent.
The Royals have been involved in on-field altercations with both the White Sox and A's this season.
Kansas City and Texas have both been hit by pitches a Major League-leading 17 times this season. Boston is third with 12 hit batsmen.
The Royals' big three in their lineup, however, have been hit a combined 14 times. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo leads the Majors, having been hit by a pitch six times, but he hangs over the plate and is occasionally hit by a pitch that is actually in the strike zone.
Kansas City's Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas, along with Rougned Odor of Texas, have been hit five times each, and Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain has been hit four times. Cain (April 6 and 8) and Moustakas (April 8 and 23) have been hit twice each by the White Sox and Gordon once (April 6). In last Sunday's game, Cain was the only Kansas City player who was hit by an Oakland pitcher (Scott Kazmir).
Royals pitchers, meanwhile, have hit three White Sox batters: Jose Abreu on Thursday and Avisail Garcia on April 6 by Yordano Ventura and Adam LaRoche by Edinson Volquez on April 9. Brett Lawrie, by Ventura last Saturday, was the only Oakland batter hit by a Kansas City pitcher.
The coming week will be a big week for Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.
Monday will be the 32nd anniversary of Ryan, who was with the Astros at the time, striking out Brad Mills of the Expos on a 1-2 pitch in the eighth inning for his 3,509th strikeout, breaking Walter Johnson's all-time record. Ryan finished with 5,714 strikeouts.
Sunday will be the 25th anniversary of Ryan's one-hit 1-0 victory for the Rangers against the White Sox. It was Ryan's 12th career-one hitter, matching Bob Feller's big league record. Ron Kittle had a check-swing single in the second inning for the White Sox only hit.
Friday will be the 24th anniversary of Ryan increasing his record no-hit total to seven with a 3-0 victory for the Rangers against the Blue Jays. At the age of 44, he became the oldest pitcher to throw a no-hitter.
• Manager Joe Maddon has the Cubs forcing the issue on the bases this year. They are second in the Majors with 18 stolen bases, two behind the Reds. The Cubs haven't finished in the upper half in the NL in stolen bases since they were tied for ninth in 2006 with 121, which was the last time they had as many as 95 stolen bases.
• Oakland first baseman/DH Ike Davis, son of former pitcher Ron Davis, got the call to pitch in the A's 14-1 loss to the D-backs on Tuesday. Davis was the first position player whose father was a pitcher to pitch in a big league game since Vance Law (son of Vern Law) also got the call for Oakland to get the final two outs in a 16-5 loss to Kansas City on Oct. 2, 1991. Vance Law also pitched games in 1986 and '87 for the Expos.
• Dodgers first-base coach Davey Lopes, who will turn 70 on May 3, is the oldest person in uniform with a big league team this season, one day older than Rockies coach Rene Lachemann. Mets manager Terry Collins, who will turn 66 on May 27, is the third oldest.