They are, as I said in the previous post, generally much easier on the eyes since Hillman left.
Bruce Chen, welcome to Zach Grienke's world. Chen pitched 4 pretty good innings against the Boston Red Sox today. He did not reap any rewards for his labors as the Royals could not muster any runs in his support and Brad Thompson was ineffective in two painful innings of work, allowing six runs, including a Big Papi homer to dead center field (no small feat that at Fenway Park). Pitching after Thompson allowed just one more run. No offense from the Royals as they were unable to deal with any of the Boston pitchers after leaving several men on base when Lester was pitching.
And what of Grienke? He is 1-6 with a 3.39 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, and an opponent's batting average of .292. There are three games I can remember that he should have won except for the bullpen imploding. He has to be frustrated. Last game he pitched, he lost 1-0, losing on a run allowed in the third inning. It's his second 1-0 loss of the season. Except for one game, Grienke has pitched well enough to win. Clearly, at this time, he is not as effective as last year. Opponents had all winter to study him and his tendencies on tape. In addition, Miguel Olivo, who caught so many of Grienke's games was let go. Grienke will have to step up his work to keep up with the hitters, who clearly have been studying him. In the meantime, the offense must come to his rescue, and the relievers must deliver. If Zack maintains his psychological health during this season, especially if it continues in this way, we can set aside notions that he is fragile mentally.