I’m no rocket surgeon when it comes to baseball, but there seems to be a consensus among baseball fans who haven’t been lobotomized that Zack Greinke is pretty good at what he does. Some would say impressive. Most would probably just go ahead and say AL Cy Young winner. Jim Rice is having none of this:
Zack Greinke didn’t really impress me last night. He pitched well and maybe I caught him on a bad night, but to me he didn’t seem dominant. Greinke has may have the lowest ERA in the AL since Pedro Martinez in 2000, but he doesn’t strike me as the dominant force that Pedro was during his statistical peak.
Yes, he’s obviously accumulated these numbers with smoke and mirrors. That intangible “How Jim Rice Feels” column was somehow left out on Baseball Reference.
Don’t get me wrong, Greinke pitched very effectively but he was not the unhittable beast on the mound that Pedro or Clemens (or even Johan Santana) were during their reign of dominance. He only gave up two hits in 6 innings but struggled with his command and, with 5 strikeouts, it’s not like he was punching tickets up and down the Red Sox lineup.
Of course, I’ll see your five-strikeout game, Mr. Rice, and raise you five double-digit strikeout games thus far this season. Oh, and he’s third in the bigs in strikeouts on the season with 229. Couple that with just 47 walks and I’d say his command is just fine.
He reminds me of a right-handed Roger Moret. He has that long and lean frame but good speed on his fastball and sporadic command.
I humored Rice and looked up Moret. In his playing days, he was two inches taller and about 20 lbs. lighter than Greinke. At no point did Moret approach Greinke’s strikeout numbers from this season. In fact, his best year, 1974, he had 111 to go with 79 walks. Is that a K/BB ratio that looks anything like what Greinke is sporting this season?