In the history of the Dodgers, only one time has a pitcher had a better ERA in the first half of a season than Zack Greinke’s 1.58 with the Dodgers today.
That pitcher was Don Drysdale, the year of his record streak of 58 consecutive scoreless innings. Drysdale had a 1.37 ERA before the All-Star Break, before finishing the year at 2.15.
If Greinke, who extended his own scoreless innings streak to 20 2/3 innings in the Dodgers’ 2-0 victory Sunday over Miami, can maintain his current ERA over what figure to be his two remaining starts before the All-Star Break, it would only be the 15th time in the past 50 years that any MLB starting pitcher has had an ERA below 1.60 at the break (minimum 75 innings).
If you really want to get ahead of yourself, nine starting pitchers — none of them Dodgers — have finished a season with at least 150 innings and a park/era-adjusted ERA better than Greinke’s today. The best was Pedro Martinez (1.74 ERA, 291 ERA+). Greinke’s current ERA is lower than Martinez’s, but the easier pitching enviroment puts Greinke’s ERA+ at 235.
Don’t expect Greinke to keep his 2015 ERA below Robert Hoover’s grade-point average at Faber College, but it’s still fun to think about.