Kansas City Royals ace Zack Greinke is mowing major leaguers down like no other right now, and the sports world is slowly catching on to the young superstar.
Greinke struck out 10 Chicago White Sox in a complete game shutout his second of the season in the Royals’ 3-0 victory Monday night.
Still only 25-years-old, Greinke is finally looking like the Cy Young contender he was thought to become way back when his career started.
While other top-tier starters, such as Brandon Webb, Cole Hamels and C.C. Sabathia, have either struggled or suffered injuries, Greinke has flourished, taking the title of “Best Pitcher in Baseball” away from themat least for now.
Greinke allowed six hits and walked none in the shutout, all while throwing only 104 pitches, a remarkable feat for a complete game with double-digit strikeouts.
“It doesn’t surprise me what he’s doing right now at all,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said, “because he’s that good. He’s been good for a long time. Now he believes in himself.
“To me, he’s the best in the league right now.”
Not many would argue that.
Greinke is now 6-0 on the season, and his 54 strikeouts and 0.40 ERA are the best in the major leagues. Perhaps we should have taken more notice last season, when he put together a 13-10 record for a last-place team with a 3.47 ERA and 183 strikeouts in 202 innings.
This season is already putting that one to shame.
It feels like Greinke has been around forever, and he’s had to go through a lot of issues to get where he is now. Through the problems with social anxiety that he has overcome, Greinke is experiencing a triumph of major proportions.
But ask him, and he will tell you he’s not the best pitcher in baseballyet.
Whether or not he’d agree with it, the way Greinke is pitching right now, he may have already reached his goal in Year One.