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Royals' Greinke falls to 0-3 despite valiant effort

May 2, 2010, 6:04 PM EDT

greinke in crouch.jpgZack Greinke threw his 10th career complete game Sunday against the Rays, but was handed his third loss of the season and now stands 0-3 on the year. 

Greinke was spectacular as usual, fanning six batters and allowing just five base runners all day.  But, yet again, he received zero run support and had his win-loss record tainted.  The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner is on pace for 214 strikeouts, just 45 walks, a 0.98 WHIP, 2.27 ERA, but also a record of 0-19.  Baseball and the people who cover it have made a lot of progress in the last few years with understanding what makes a pitcher successful, but how many Cy Young votes would an 0-19 pitcher get even if all of his other stats were top-of-the-line?  We might just find out.  And ESPN’s Keith Law thinks he’d be left off half of all Cy ballots.

Greinke, 26, has has not registered a win in 10 career starts against the Rays.  Then again, it’s probably time to throw the “win,” as a pitching stat, right out the window.

  1. Old Gator - May 2, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    Not sure why, but for some reason Greinke’s situation reminds me of the really unfortunate tenure of Mickey Lolich on the Mutts. Traded for Rusty Staub in 1976, I believe, he went 8-13 with an ERA of 3.22. Greinke won’t be the first effective pitcher to have a pig’s breakfast of a record because his team can’t rise to the occasion behind him and he surely won’t be the last. The pitchers that can win big for a sad sack team – Randy Jones winning 20-plus games for the Padres in 1975 and 76, when the team lost 89 and 91 games, for example, are more the exception than the rule. He may just have to keep at it, hope for a karmic reversal bigtime, and play his way the hell out of there as soon as he becomes eligible to take the ownership to the cleaners in his first arbitration year.

  2. Curious George - May 2, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    You sure he doesn’t need to learn how to win?

    Odds are that there is at least one person on the continent paid to write for a living who will utter something awfully close to that.

    Captcha: clutch boundaries (prescient little tool, this)

  3. Old Gator - May 2, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    CG: of course he does. But if that means he’s got to pitch a shutout every time he goes out there because his team doesn’t get him any runs, we both know that’s not exactly an effective form of pedagogy. He got a ND against Toronto on a blown save after giving up 2 runs. He got an ND against Seattle after giving up no runs. His first game, against Minnesota, was the only one you could call a poor performance, but even in that one he gave up only two earned runs in five innings of work. If your team is booting balls behind you and not getting you any run support, it’s a really tough study.
    reCaptcha: in corpses

  4. Mac - May 2, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    Mr. Silva, why are you wasting my time with this silly hypothetical situation? The Royals will decide that Greinke no longer belongs in the rotation once he gets to 0-8. He’ll then be optioned to AAA and placed under the guidance of the same insightful minds that have made Alex Gordon what he is today.

  5. YankeesfanLen - May 2, 2010 at 9:24 PM

    The Universe will gladly give the Royals $$$$$, Vazquez and the Big Toad as a trade.

  6. APBA Guy - May 2, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Sadly, there was probably more than a few friends and family in the stands to see Greinke pitch today. His hometown, Apopka, also home to my sainted mother, is about 75 minutes away. I’m sure they were thrilled to see him allow 1 run in 8 innings against the powerful Rays, but crushed when he took the loss.

  7. Robert - May 3, 2010 at 4:41 AM

    I’m reminded of Mario Soto, who pitched for the Reds during the early 80s. He’d routinely strike out a bunch of guys and lose games 2-0. Pitching and defense may save games, but offense wins them.

  8. Old Gator - May 3, 2010 at 7:49 AM

    I didn’t realize that Greinke was from Apopka.
    That’s not significant of anything. I just didn’t realize it. But don’t the humans from Apopka sometimes feel menaced by the androids from Celebration?

  9. BC - May 3, 2010 at 8:33 AM

    Nolan Ryan once went 8-16 for Houston and had like a 2.30 ERA and a bajillion more strikeouts than anyone else. It happens.

  10. ecp - May 3, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    Greinke is already into his arb years…and under contract through 2012.

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