Last year, Zack Greinke(notes) put up Dead Ball Era numbers during the first two months of the season. By the end of May his record was 8-1, his ERA was 1.10, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio was 88 to 12. The American League Cy Young was his to lose (and of course he didn't lose it).
Greinke hasn't been quite as dominant in 2010, but he's still seventh in the A.L. in Ks (33), ninth in ERA (2.27) and third in WHIP (0.98). Instead of pitching like it's 1908, he's merely pitching like it's 1968. He may not yet be the Cy favorite, but he's clearly taken the lead in the battle to be the Royals' lone All-Star representative.
And, as Greinke's fantasy owners surely know, he still hasn't won a game.
David Brown discussed Greinke's winlessness in detail over at BLS, so we won't repeat his well-made argument that W/L record is a silly thing to use when evaluating a pitcher's skills. Greinke threw extremely well against the Rays on Sunday, allowing just four hits over eight innings, but Evan Longoria(notes) homered in the fourth (a second-row shot) and the Royals lost, 1-0. Greinke slipped to 0-3, which is ridiculous. He's given up two earned runs or fewer in five of six starts.
In fantasy, of course, we can't take Ws out of the value equation. Starters are expected to contribute in four categories, and wins are one of 'em. To Greinke's credit, he entered Monday as the No. 87 player in the Yahoo! fantasy ranks despite his record. He'll pick up a win soon, obviously. If it doesn't happen on Friday at Texas, then he'll get on the board the following week against Cleveland, or maybe the next week against Baltimore. He's an ace, after all. (See above). There's no reason to think that Greinke can't still force his way into the Cy conversation.
But if you're looking for a place to rant about his run-support — and/or the Royals lineup, and/or your fantasy league's scoring settings — we encourage you to do so in comments. These is a frustrating time to be a Greinke owner, particularly if Sunday's loss burned you in head-to-head. Talk it out. Make a friend. Predict the date of Greinke's first W and you'll be eligible to win an Al Fitzmorris game-used sideburn…
Photo via AP Images