I like comparing Zack to AL DH era pitchers (comparing him to Juan Marichal while impressive, is apples to oranges with the higher mound and no DH.)
With his last start, Zack has 10 consecutive appearances allowing 2 runs or less to start the season. The old record was 8 (Mike Norris, Kirk Mcaskill).
He has 12 consecutive including last year, also a record. The old record was 11 (Roger Clemens, Gaylord Perry, Justin Duchschere).
The record for 2 earned runs was also 8 to start the season, Clemens has the overall record at 21, but the only others ahead of Zack are Gaylord and Pedro.
He has 16 games giving up 3 or less runs. the Record is Pedro with 23, but the only others ahead are Johann Santana, and Pedro's 2nd best.
The record to start the season is 15 by Jimmy Key and Ron Guidry. Former Royal Kevin Appier had 12 in 1992, and somehow Jeremy Guthrie managed to have 11, averaging over 7 innings per start, with 7 no decisions in 2007.
The record for 3 or less earned runs is also 23. (Zack has 18) Clemens joins Pedro at the top, and Johann, Ken Holtzman and Jack Morris also need to be passed.
The record to start the season is 17. (Justin Duchschere and Tim Wakefield)
The League is hitting .203 against Zack this year with an OPS of .506, and while that is impressive, I have his earned ERA at 1.49. So why is it less? 3 reasons:
1) The fact that he has given up 0 Homers. (As mentioned in an excellent recent post.
2) Zack takes a little while to get going. OPS in first 3 innings: a pedestrian .690. Innings 4-6: a much better .400. 7-9: .339.
3) Zack seems to toy with hitters until he is threatened. Hitters against him with runners in scoring position:
AB H 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS HBP SH SF GIDP AVE OBP SLG
52 7 0 0 0 2 21 1 0 0 2 1 5 .135 .164 .135
With 57 actual plate PA's, 45.61% of the hitters facing him either strikeout or ground into a double play! He turns everyone into the NL pitchers spot!
I have noticed that this post rambles a little bit, but with the Royals getting their ass handed to them tonight, my Greinke obsession ran rampant.