Royals SWEEP! Greinke better, but still not very good
"Alberto call the pitch. Zack throw the pitch."
That was Zack Greinke's philosophy tonight, which he revealed in his post-game interview. So did it work?
Ehhh, not so much. Greinke was definitely better tonight (which was probably inevitable in the wake of what might be the worst performance ever by a Royals starter), but he still was not very good. And he sure looked different. Rather than mixing speeds, as he did so effectively last year, Greinke consistently worked in the low 90s today, even dialing his fastball up to 95 mph at one point, which we believe was the hardest pitch he's thrown in the majors.
The increased velocity certainly made his fastball more effective tonight, but it came at the expense of his control. Though Zack "only" walked two in his five innings of work, he was still consistently missing his catcher's target, and leaving pitches out over the plate. Once again, his only consistently effective pitch was his slow curve, which he threw with greater frequency than we've ever seen before. If he continues to throw that pitch as often as he has been, it will eventually lose its effectiveness, as hitters will be able to anticipate it.
I don't know. Perhaps we're being too negative. If you had told us prior to the game that Greinke's line would be 5.0 IP and 3 ER, we would have gladly taken it. There may be no quick solution to Greinke's problems, so perhaps we shouldn't expect one and instead acknowledge and be happy about the fact that he was indeed better. But we're still just waiting for last year's Greinke to show up...the one who worked the corners with precision while masterfully changing speeds like a veteran.
Pitchers KC has beaten in the last 15 games:
You know, that's a pretty impressive list, a list that represents pretty much every type of pitcher that exists in baseball. The Royals have beaten sinkerballers, hard throwers, crafty lefties, and everything in between, all without missing a beat. Buddy Bell now stands at 11-4 as Royals skipper, and the Royals are playing great baseball. If you can't get excited about that, then there's definitely something wrong with you.
Well, it appears that the power has arrived. Aviles is really mashing the ball right now, and it's going to force the Royals to take notice. Yes, the Texas League is much more of a hitter's league than the Carolina League, but the progress Aviles has made cannot be ignored, nor can it be explained away by park or league factors. Aviles has continued to improve, and right now RC projects that he will be in KC as soon as Tony Graffanino is traded.