Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Zack Greinke
Last Friday, I was able to see Zack Greinke pitch in person at Kauffman Stadium. I had a good view from my split-season ticket seats right behind the visitor's on deck circle.

Greinke is an impressive pitcher. Just by watching him, you can see that he has poise and confidence on the mound. He pitched well, giving up only 1 run on 7 hits. The run came on a solo homerun by Mike Cuddyer. I had the feeling that Greinke still was in control of the game even after the homerun. It looked like he was saving pitches the first time through the order. For example, he could have gotten Cuddyer on a slider, but didn't want to show the slider until the next time through the order. Instead, he threw a fastball that was hit out. Greinke said in an interview that the pitch was in the location he wanted, but Cuddyer hit it well.

The next batter was Henry Blanco. Greinke threw a 61 MPH curveball that was barely fouled off for strike 2. The very next pitch was a 91 MPH fast ball that was swung on and missed. Blanco looked silly trying to hit that pitch. That was a case where Greinke reared back and threw 30 MPH faster than the previous pitch. He fastballs were around 88 for the rest of the game.

In the 7th, Greinke got into trouble. Justin Morneau singled and Cuddyer singled. With two men on, Greinke struck out Lew Ford looking on a fastball that caught the outside corner. It was a case where Ford was looking for something different, and Greinke had him guessing. In the post game interview, Greinke said that he was trying to throw a ball there to set up the next pitch, but the pitch caught the outside corner for the strike out. Again, impressive that he thinks several pitches ahead and uses strategy like that out on the mound. It was also refreshing to see a Royals pitcher who's not afraid to work inside on batters.

Greinke will start tonight in Detroit. If you have RSTN, you should try to catch him. He really is a special pitcher.

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