Sunday, October 4, 2009

Greinke and Impotent Royals

Playing in front of a national TV audience against the playoff contending Minnesota Twins Saturday in Minneapolis, the Kansas City Royals showed you why Zack Greinke is the American League Cy Young award winner for 2009.

Greinke himself didn't necessarily show you why he's the best pitcher in the AL, however, and one bad inning (the bottom of the sixth) may have cost Kansas City's ace the Cy Young in question. Twins starter Nick Blackburn took a perfect game into the fifth against the impotent Royal offense, but Mike Jacobs and Alberto Callaspo led off the fifth with consecutive singles. Any legitimate major-league lineup would score at least those two runs in a similar situation, but KC has no legitimate major-league lineup.

Mark Teahen bunted the runners over to second and third like a true pro, but Miguel Olivo grounded Blackburn's first pitch -- a fastball in front of his neck -- weakly to shortstop for out number two. Blackburn -- who yields a .323 batting average with the bases empty yet .234 with runners in scoring position -- coaxed an inning-ending pop-up out of Alex Gordon to preserve the scoreless tie.

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