August 3, 2012
Throwdown: Zack Greinke vs. Jeremy Hellickson
The Angels showed off their new prize last Sunday, as deadline acquisition Zack Greinke made his Anaheim debut in a face-off with 2011 Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson. Greinke returns to the American League after a year and a half spent taking swings in the senior circuit, arriving via a July 27th exchange for three Angels minor leaguers, including Futures Game LVP Ariel Pena. Hellickson made a comeback of his own on Sunday with a return from his first trip to the disabled list, a 15-day hiatus to rest from shoulder fatigue. Greinke and Hellickson are advanced students of the game, and Sunday's throwdown between the two pitch-sequence savants did not disappoint.
Greinke spent comparatively more time pitching from the stretch, with eight total base runners over seven frames, but his superior bat-missing skills were exemplified by eight punchouts. The crafty duelists traded zeroes for the first five innings before the Rays finally broke through with single runs in the sixth and seventh innings off of the newest Halo right-hander. Hellickson lasted a half-dozen innings, though he was pulled after just 86 pitches to ease his transition back from injury. The Rays held a 2-0 advantage by the time both starters had exited the game, a score that held through the final out.
Greinke 7 2 7 1 8 111 – 70
Hellickson 6 0 2 0 5 86 – 54