Zack Greinke pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday. He gave up one run, four hits in 8 innings, throwing just 87 pitches, striking out 6 and walking none. He lost the game 1-0. (Kansas City Star)
Sub three ERA (2.27 to be precise) and no wins? How do you do that?
1. No offense.
2. No bullpen.
The question becomes how do the Royals keep Zack Grienke without becoming a better ball club. The answer is they don't. Zack is signed through 2011, but if we know he will not renew, his last year is really a wash, since he'll need to be traded before the July 2011 trading deadline. The Royals must show some sort of progress this year or we will bid Zack good bye just as we bid good bye to Damon, Dye, Beltran et al. There looks to be help coming in the minors, but can it come fast enough?
There is also an immediate question: How does Zack make it through this season? If Zack maintains excellence throughout this season as he did last season (he did sag a little in the middle of last year, but it's a very long season and rare is the player that doesn't have a brief period of less than stellar production during the year), we will know that he is, in addition to physically durable, psychologically durable as well.
As for this year: keep fiddling and diddling around, and try to improve. What else is there to do? Shoot for .500 ball and just keep trying to get better. Sucks, doesn't it?
Martin Manley offers a take on the same problem over at Upon Further Review.