Don't worry, picture of Zack Greinke from May 4, 2011. It gets better.
Odds are most of you are familiar with the dramatic roster overhaul that happened during the winter preceding the 2011 season. The Brewers sent five players to Toronto and Kansas City (and agreed to take Yuniesky Betancourt) in exchange for Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, two pitchers who immediately were projected to pitch near the top of the Brewer rotation.
Unfortunately, a rib injury meant Brewer fans had to wait a month to witness Greinke's Brewer debut. It happened on this day in 2011, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Braves.
Greinke had a somewhat pedestrian debut in the middle of what looked like a Brewer freefall, pitching just four innings and allowing five runs on five hits as the Brewers were shut out in the back end of a doubleheader sweep. It was the fifth of what would eventually be seven consecutive losses for the Brewers, dropping them to 13-19 and 5.5 games back in the Central.
Five days later, however, Greinke picked up his first Brewer win in a 4-3 victory over the Padres at home. The rest is history.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:
- 2004 Brewer Ben Grieve, who turns 36.
- 1999 Brewer Robinson Cancel, who turns 36.
- 2003 Brewer Eddie Perez, who turns 44.
- 1975 Brewer Pat Osburn, who turns 64.
- 1984 Brewer manager Rene Lachemann, who turns 67.
Today is also the third anniversary of one of Zack Greinke's best games during his 2009 Cy Young campaign. He pitched a complete game shutout and struck out ten in the Royals' win over the White Sox, lowering his ERA for the season to 0.40. We covered that event in this space last year.