FanPost

Greinke seems ready for something big..

I was having a hard time deciding what was more spectacular; Braun's pinch-hit blast at the Fish a few weeks ago or Axford's gas at Fenway last weekend, but then I got depressed by all the loses and pissed off at how predictable Roenicke has become, predictable in his loyalty to certain players that don't warrant loyalty.  But then I took a deep breath and remembered one of the many definitions of ace; that pitcher in the rotation who ends losing streaks and soothes a fan's misery like a muscle relaxant. That, of course, would be Zach Greinke. I can still sit back and see him whiffing away Rays. Maybe it avoids some bigger issues on this team, but it sure feels good. Greinke is on pace to challenge Ben Sheets Brewer franchise record of strikeouts to walks ratio and maybe alot more.

Sheets is like fifth on the all time list for elite K-control seasons. It depends how many IP and/or strikeouts are used when compiling a list. I like 200 K's as the cut off point, especially since Greinke missed a bunch of starts, and still has an outside shot at getting to 200. Cripes, that fact is almost enough to forget about all the other challenges facing the team, but one elite pitcher does not win pennants. But, three might when you consider the Giants last year or the way the Mariners have been this year. Anyway, here's the list with Greinke's 2011 numbers listed twice...first for current stats followed by my biased projections. They are not in any particular order.

 

IP

K's

BB's

Team E's

Curt Shilling-2002

259.1

316

33

5

Pedro Martinez-2000

217

284

32

11

Pedro Martinez-1999

213.1

313

37

12

Ben Sheets-2004

237

264

32

9

Curt Shilling-2001

256.2

293

39

6

Ferguson Jenkins-1971

325

263

37

12

Cy Young-1905

320.2

210

30

 

Greinke-2011

60.1

80

9

4

Greinke-2011

165

200

24

11

In terms of sheer dominance, Pedro's numbers are ridiculous. Those were the days when he described pitching as "reaching out and placing the ball wherever he wanted." You might be wondering why is there an E column? Well, the thing that kept popping in my head while looking at these numbers was a question. What were team defenses like playing behind such amazing control? From my days playing whiffle ball, I figured defenders would be more on their toes and make fewer errors with a control/strikeout monster on the mound.

I'm not sure how these error numbers compare to other game logs for pitchers, but the totals seem quite low which would lend some support to the notion that control pitchers can and do enhance team defense. Of course,  errors aren't the best indicator of defense in that range is not considered, but errors do punish players for booting balls.  This may or may not reflect a team's overall focus.

Regardless, it's been an amazing month and a half by Greinke and you gotta figure he is just now hitting his stride which makes me scratch my head over what's next. He is missing a lot of bats with his pitches and looks to be on the brink of something really big. 

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