Apr 7, 2012, 6:31 PM EDT
The last couple of years I’ve done first-third awards at the end of May, handing out Rookie of the Years, Cy Youngs and MVPs at the end of May based on what had happened 54 or so games in.
This year, I’m going to call one a little early: Zack Greinke will be the first-third Cy Young in the NL.
Greinke has looked terrific right since the start of the spring, and he was especially exceptional in Saturday’s season debut, shutting out the Cardinals for seven innings. He allowed three hits, walked none and struck out seven.
The Greinke we’re seeing now looks a whole lot like the one who won the 2009 AL Cy Young Award with the Royals. He ended that year with a 2.16 ERA and 242 strikeouts in 229 1/3 innings. The two years since have been modest disappointments, as he finished with a 4.17 ERA in his last year in K.C. and a 3.83 ERA in his first in Milwaukee, but he did strike out a career-best 10.5 batters per nine innings last season, showing his stuff was intact.
Whether he’ll keep it together for the whole year remains to be seen. He has plenty of incentive, this being his walk year, but Greinke seems to look at the world a bit differently than most of the rest of us and his results haven’t always matched his stuff. I’ll trust him to keep it going for a couple of months anyway. For the full year, I think I’d still rather take my chances with Roy Halladay or Clayton Kershaw.
- Today is the Sox’ annual Patriot’s Day game. It’s more significant now than ever. 10
- Boswell: “Harper may be the Nats’ seventh-best player” 50
- And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights 71
- Boston Marathon heroes remembered with pregame ceremony at Fenway Park 10
- Benches clear in Pittsburgh after the Brewers’ Carlos Gomez bat flips a third-inning triple 178
- Hank Aaron is getting vile racist hate mail in retaliation for pointing out that racism still exists (249)
- Benches clear in Pittsburgh after the Brewers’ Carlos Gomez bat flips a third-inning triple (178)
- “They Don’t Know Henry” (167)
- Doug Glanville’s story about being racially profiled at his own home (127)
- There is still a racial divide in baseball (112)