It’s been 10 years since Zack Greinke was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in what would be his Cy Young Award-winning season with the Royals.
Most players are happy to be featured in the magazine, but Greinke apparently doesn’t have fond memories of it.
Greinke, who is in his fourth season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, mentioned that Sports Illustrated moment on Thursday night while talking about flirting with a no-hitter against the Washington Nationals.
Trea Turner’s infield single to open the seventh inning was the Nationals’ first hit and Greinke wasn’t disappointed to miss out on the chance at baseball history. Greinke never seemed to like the spotlight, and that apparently goes for throwing a no-hitter.
“It’d probably be more of a hassle than anything,” Greinke told MLB.com. “Just (like) the Sports Illustrated article. A bunch of nonsense comes with it. I don’t think about no-hitters, ever.”
Diamondbacks catcher Alex Avila told the Arizona Republic said Greinke’s command of the strike zone could be the reason he’s never had a no-hitter.
“The thing with him, and it’s probably very true, is that he throws a lot of strikes,” Avila said. “When you’re in a game like that and you’re not giving up any hits, as the game goes on by trying to accomplish that you try to expand a little. You’ll see some guys get walked like that instead of a guy giving up a hit. I know I’ve seen it and done it as a catcher going into the later innings of a no-hitter that I’d rather walk a guy than give up a hit at that point.
“But with him that’s not the case. He’d rather you get a hit than give up a walk, so I’d say that’s the main reason why he hasn’t.”
Greinke agreed with that assessment.
“I don’t really think about it that much,” Greinke told reporters of throwing a no-hitter. “I just assume I’ll never throw one. I don’t think that’s the type of game I throw. I feel like I give up a lot of hits. Maybe not as many this year as in some other years, but I feel like I give up a lot of hits.”
Here is the hit that ended the no-no: