I had a gut feeling about this. There was no way Zack Greinke was going to go out with another stinker of a start like he did in Cleveland. No way. For all the talk about his lack of focus and distrust of The Process, Greinke is a competitor. Clark touched on this a little yesterday, but it’s the stuff of clubhouse legend. The dude will take you on in anything. Ping-pong? He probably has a paddle in his locker. Bowling? His initials are probably monogramed on a ball. And we’ve heard all of the stories about how he was consistently trying to one-up Gil Meche.
So even though nothing has gone right this season, and Greinke isn’t too anxious to stick around for Youth Movement, 5.0 he certainly doesn’t want to end the season on a negative note. He left us with nine strikeouts, tied for his second highest total in a start this season, and two runs allowed on four hits. Nice.
He wasn’t Zack, version 2009, but that’s fine. Last year was all kinds of awesome and it was so exceptional, we knew he was going to have a difficult time repeating that kind of success. We just didn’t expect Zack, version 2010 to be so damn frustrating.
I know the advanced metrics say Greinke has been really quite good this season. And, as usual, the Royals defense has been horrific. Even though errors aren’t a good way to measure defense, did you know that 17 hitters have reached base via an error against Greinke this year? The next closest in the AL is Colby Lewis in Texas who has had 12 batters reach on a miscue.
Anyway, there is just no way you could have watched any of Greinke’s starts over the last two months and not come away extremely frustrated. Thankfully, Thursday was different. And that’s what we’ll carry with us into the winter.
The minor league guys were in town and interviewed at length during the broadcast. Interesting stuff for those of us who are invested in The Process. Just based on the interviews I saw, Wil Myers and Clint Robinson seem like great kids. Broadcasts like that get me pumped for the future.
I’ll leave you with a few links for your reading pleasure…
Fenway Park, in Boston, is a lyric little bandbox of a ballpark.
That line made me root for the Red Sox. At least until Jimmy Fallon and all those pink hat wearing dbags started turning up everywhere. Anyway, it’s the 50th anniversary of Ted Williams final plate appearance, so John Updike’s classic “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu” has gotten some publicity. It’s a classic worth reading any time.
Of contemporary writers (internet version) there’s no one who does it better than Alex Belth. If he’s writing, I’m reading. It pains me to say that since he’s a Yankee fan and all that, but it’s true. The guy knows his way around a keyboard. His take on working for Ken Burns on Baseball for his first gig out of college is a blast.
There’s Posnanski. And there’s Scully. Both magicians with words. And when they get together… It makes me happy.
Not that I’m in the same league with the three previous writers, but I did write a little something about our Greinke at Baseball Prospectus (subscription required) this week. If you’re going to click on all four of these links, maybe you should hit mine first. Clearly the appetizer. The other three are the main course.