Saturday, April 18, 2009

Zack Greinke = Filthy Good

Did you watch tonight's game? Did you see what Zack Greinke did to one of the highest-scoring offenses in Major League Baseball? On the heels of Friday's 12-3 spanking of the Rangers in Arlington, Greinke made Josh Hamilton, Hank Blalock, Marlon Byrd, Michael Young and the rest of the Texas lineup look like a bunch of school kids during a complete-game 2-0 shutout victory. It was absolute greatness in Royal Blue.

Greinke needed 111 pitches to finish his first career complete-game shutout, and he struck out 10 while walking none. He dazzled fans, and kept Texas batters guessing, by throwing 61 mile per hour curveballs, followed by 94 mph fastballs on the outside corner. For Royals fans, it was fun to watch, and that's not even the big story about this performance.

Greinke (3-0) entered the game against the Rangers having thrown 11 consecutive shutout innings in 2009, and 25 straight scoreless frames dating back to 2008. Add the nine zeros from tonight, and Greinke unofficially broke Kevin Appier's record for consecutive scoreless innings* by a K.C. pitcher, reaching 34 in a row.

*According to Ryan Lefebvre, he was told by a member of Kansas City's media relations staff that the Royals would create a new category for scoreless innings over two seasons. So Appier's single-season mark of 33 innings will still stand (for now?), while Greinke now holds the record for a streak covering more than one season.

It's early, but Greinke is working on an amazing streak. Are there any Royals fans out there who questioned whether signing Greinke to a $38 million contract extension was worthwhile? I seriously doubt it. But if there were any, they sure must be quiet now. Greinke's stuff is just plain filthy.

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