Zack Greinke talks about his seven shutty start on Tuesday:
Greinke worked efficiently, completing those seven innings on 86 pitches (56 strikes). He held the Tigers to four hits and one walk with two strikeouts — both against Miguel Cabrera.
In fact, striking out Cabrera is nothing new for Greinke. Cabrera is a career .302 hitter against Greinke, perfectly respectable for one likely future Hall of Famer hitting off another. But after two strikeouts in the series opener, Greinke has K’d Cabrera 14 times in 43 at-bats. That’s a strikeout rate of 32.6%, compared to Cabrera’s career 17.8% rate.
“I would have never guessed that I struck him out that much,” Greinke said. “That’s really shocking to me. When we first started facing each other, I was doing pretty good against him. And then the middle part, he’s done really good against me. So maybe early on I got more strikeouts than I remembered, but I feel like he’s hitting over .300 against me, so that’s not too bad.”
Craig Brown at Into the Fountains also talks Greinke:
The point is, with Zack Greinke, you just never know. The only thing you do know with certainty is that when you watch him pitch, you are viewing greatness at work. The other stuff? All part of his charm.
Last start or not, I hope you had a chance to watch Greinke’s outing on Tuesday. After the game, Mike Matheny said it was “vintage Greinke.” On that, I disagree. Matheny needed to add a qualifier to his statement. Something like “late career” needed to go between “vintage” and “Greinke.” Because the dude has completely reinvented himself as he’s moved into the twilight of his career. He can still dominate the way he cruised through the Tiger lineup, but it’s a different kind of domination.
John Wathan will retire from the Royals organization following this season:
Wathan, selected fourth overall by the Royals in the 1971 January draft, played all 10 of his big league seasons for Kansas City as a catcher, first baseman and outfielder. Wathan’s first season was 1976, when the Royals won their first American League West championship. Wathan’s last season was 1985, when the Royals won their first World Series.
He then went on to manage both the Royals and Angels before broadcasting Royals games in 1996 and 1997, and joining the Royals player development department in 1999.
Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report breaks down Michael Massey’s season:
I’ve got to be honest with you all, as excited as we all were for Michael Massey by the end of last season, I may have somehow been the low man on him when he was promoted to AAA Omaha on June 12th. In my defense, at the time Massey was a 24-year old with a 0.39 BB/K ratio and 113 wRC+ at AA. Massey has always hit a great amount of line drives, and his batted ball profile was off the charts, but he just wasn’t having the type of overall production that you’d expect from someone that you’d want to be an everyday big leaguer by, say, August.
All of this is to say nothing about everything else that Massey does extremely well. Between AA, AAA, and the big leagues this year Massy has stolen 16 bases while only being caught twice. He is perhaps the most advanced defender I’ve seen in five years covering the Royals minor league system, outside of Nick Pratto. His baseball instincts are obvious to anyone watching him play. Even if Massey is never an All-Star-caliber hitter, he’s going to provide value to a big league team because he does everything else so well.
We knew this would happen and now it has: Aaron Judge has tied Roger Maris’s AL home run record. I have no comment on what the “real” home run record is.
Ben Clemens at Fangraphs tackles the annual subject of people retroactively complaining about projections.
Also at Fangraphs, a deep dive on the historic bunt-aversion of the Atlanta Braves.
Keith Law shares his standouts from the Future Stars Series Main Event, a showcase event for the top prep players in the upcoming MLB draft class. ($)
Harold Ramírez is supporting his son and autism awareness with his hairstyle. ($)
In case you weren’t aware, Alek Manoah is an awesome dude.
Colorado State takes the top (bottom?) spot on this week’s College Football Bottom 10.
This weekend’s UFC Fight Night will be closed to media and the public. Fighter Mackenzie Dern claims it’s because Mark Zuckerberg rented out the event, UFC president Dana White denies this.
Several NBA Stars, including LeBron James, are investing in Major League Pickleball. I have no idea what this will look like but enjoy this video of some professional doubles pickleball:
professional doubles pickleball may be the funniest event going pic.twitter.com/51Pg3OTC28— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) December 13, 2021
This week’s rental opportunity is somebody else’s couch that you can sleep on for almost a grand per month.
Revisiting Looper a decade later.
Fish fossils were recently discovered that offer a look at some of the earliest history of jawed vertebrates.
Do you still dress up for Halloween? I’m way too old to trick-or-treat but still of the age for Halloween parties, so I absolutely do. If you’re looking for ideas, here’s 100 that run the gamut from spooky to silly to pop-culturey.
Your song of the day is Cities by Thoreau and Chloe Tang.