Greinke threw six scoreless innings against Boston on Tuesday night, allowing just two hits, while lowering his ERA on the season to 2.08. A patient Boston lineup did draw three walks, although Greinke also struck out five.
Late last week I heard Peter Gammons discussing Zack Greinke's Cy Young chances on ESPN Radio. Like everyone else, Gammons agreed that Greinke was the best pitcher in the American League this season, although he did not hesitate to add that one weak part of his resume was that he hadn't faced the Red Sox or Yankees in 2009.
(Of course, the Royals only play the Red Sox and Yankees twice a season, and half of those games had yet to be played. Greinke was slated to face Boston in four days and is likely to pitch against New York later this month. Not surprisingly, this point was not made. Never let the factual details get in the way of your point, I suppose.)
Last year, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay had similar numbers (save in the win column, essentially the least helpful stat) and I argued that Halladay deserved the Cy Young over Lee by virtue of facing the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays a total of sixteen times, while Lee seemingly pitched against the Royals once a week. Zack Greinke, it must be said, not only has to be teammates with the Royals, by rule, he is also not allowed to pitch against them.
The strength of opposition argument is valid... when we're comparing two pitchers who are close. However, this season, no one is close to Greinke. He's the best pitcher in baseball this season. There's no one in the same ... oh, hell, ballpark, right now. He's having one of the best seasons of the decade. He's even got a great off-field story, which does matter to people. He's the Cy Young.
Give the man the damn award.