In Joe Posnanski's blog today, there was an article about how the Royals are 22-24 in Zack's last 46 starts. I was a bit taken aback by this, so I decided to look a little deeper into it. What I found was shocking even for someone who has watched it.
It's not as if Zack performed poorly in the losses. He averaged 6.39 innings per start with a 3.05 ERA. He gave up more than 3 earned runs in only 6 of the 24 losses, and his ERA was 3.05. That's 0-12, 12 no decisions 3.05 ERA.
The Royals scored 56 runs in those 24 games, for an average of 2.33 runs per game (and that is the entire game, not just while Zack was pitching)
They gave up 20 unearned runs in those games, which makes their net contribution 36 runs, or 1.50 per game.
The bullpen ERA in those losses is 9.16! They gave up more earned runs than Zack in 95.1 less innings, and gave up 3 more runs than the Royals scored during the entire games.
What does Zack have to do for the Royals to win? Try 7.18 innings per start and a 1.20 ERA!
Zack's total ERA for the 46 games is 2.11.
The Royals record when he exits the game is 26-13 with 7 ties. In the 14 no decisions they were ahead 6 times, tied 7 times and behind once. Their record in those games is 2-12.
If you were to propose that a pitcher should get a win giving up two or less earned runs, a no-decision with 3 , and a loss with 4 or more, Zack's record would be 34-6! (Actual record 20-12)
He has the most team losses by any AL pitcher in this time frame with 3 or less earned runs(18) 2 or less (14), 1 or less (10), and zero(5). He has 3-5 more losses than anyone else in all these categories. (Minimum 5 IP)
Zack has already had 9 career starts where he has given up 0 earned runs and the team lost. He is tied for the AL DH era record with Frank Tanana (who owns all of these type of records)
It's a damned shame!