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No-no thanks: It would be 'a hassle' for Greinke

D-backs ace carries no-no into 7th but doesn't regret falling short
@SteveGilbertMLB
June 14, 2019

WASHINGTON -- Zack Greinke has accomplished a lot in his career, but the one thing he hasn’t notched in 429 big league starts is a no-hitter. For six innings of the D-backs' 5-0 win over the Nationals on Thursday night at Nationals Park, it seemed like it just might be

WASHINGTON -- Zack Greinke has accomplished a lot in his career, but the one thing he hasn’t notched in 429 big league starts is a no-hitter.

For six innings of the D-backs' 5-0 win over the Nationals on Thursday night at Nationals Park, it seemed like it just might be Greinke’s night.

“I felt really good,” Greinke said. “Everything was working, and things felt crisp. Most pitches I threw were coming out how I wanted them to. I felt good the whole time.”

Box score

There was a feeling in Arizona's dugout that something special might be brewing.

“I was thinking about that in about the fifth inning,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “With his pitch count as low as it was, I was thinking this was going to be the time for him.”

But if you listen to Greinke, throwing a no-hitter is not something that is high on his list of things to accomplish.

“It’d probably be more of a hassle than anything,” he said, referring to the added attention it would bring. “Just [like] the Sports Illustrated article. A bunch of nonsense comes with it. I don’t think about no-hitters, ever.”

Greinke (8-2) was in top form right from the start, as he mixed his pitches and kept the Nats off balance throughout the night.

After retiring the first 10 Washington batters, Greinke hit Adam Eaton on the foot with a pitch with one out in the fourth. It was initially ruled that the ball did not hit Eaton, but the Nationals challenged the call. It was overturned, making Eaton their first baserunner.

The Nationals’ first hit came to open the seventh when Trea Turner hit a sharp grounder to the right of first baseman Christian Walker, who made an outstanding diving stop but could not get the ball out of his glove cleanly, allowing Turner to reach with an infield single.

The television cameras caught Walker looking upset about not making the play, but Greinke was having none of that. In fact, he wasn’t sure he could beat the speedy Turner to the bag to catch Walker’s throw.

“I thought it was going to be tough to get there in time anyway,” Greinke said. “And [a] tough throw, even if he did throw it over there with how fast Turner is.”

Greinke still had a shot at the shutout, but Mother Nature put a stop to that with a sudden thunderstorm that caused a 1-hour, 3-minute delay.

When the delay started with one out in the eighth, the D-backs wanted to give Greinke a chance to stay in the game, so they had him throw some pitches in the batting cage under the stands behind the visiting dugout.

Once the delay hit 25 minutes, Lovullo decided Greinke was done.

The manager was asked what would have happened if Greinke still had the no-hitter going when the rain delay hit.

“I’m glad he gave up a hit and we didn’t have to be forced into that decision,” Lovullo said. “I would not have allowed him to go back out there. I would have stuck to the procedure, and I would have thanked him for the effort and told him that’s it.”

Speaking of effort, D-backs catcher Alex Avila suffered a strained left calf in the fourth inning, but he did not want to come out of the ballgame and disrupt Greinke’s rhythm.

“That happened early in the game, and he was just grinding it out for his pitcher,” Lovullo said.

Avila, who homered in his third straight game, was to be further evaluated over the course of the evening.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.