Dodgers starter Zack Greinke continued a historic stretch on Sunday afternoon against the Nationals by extending his consecutive scoreless streak to 43 2/3 innings.
That's the fourth-longest such streak since 1961 and the best since Orel Hershiser's 59 straight in 1988. He is just the third pitcher in the Live Ball Era (since 1920) to not allow a run in six consecutive starts.
Bryce Harper said afterwards that Greinke is a great pitcher, but stopped short of giving the former Cy Young-winner too much credit. He said Greinke was aided by a wide strike zone by home plate ump Bill Miller on this particular day.
"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."
Harper struck out twice and on the second one exchanged words with Miller as he walked to the dugout. Miller threw a ball demonstrably to the Nationals dugout as Harper walked away.
Harper was clearly frustrated with the strike zone on Sunday, but explained his words about Greinke as just part of competition as professionals.
"He's a good pitcher. He's doing what he's doing to help that team over there, but I don't want to give him too much credit because I've gotta face him again. That's the biggest thing. I don't really want to give him too much credit because of that reason, but he's a damn good pitcher," Harper said.
Harper was asked what he thought of Greinke's streak and he couldn't offer much of an answer:
"I don't know, I don't watch him so I have no idea what he's doing. I couldn't tell you. Maybe ask some people on the west. I don't really watch him, so."