Saturday, October 15, 2011

Does Zack Greinke Win the John Lackey Award?

There was a whole lot of things not to like about last night's NLCS contest between the Cardinals and Brewers if you were a Brewers' fan. Much, of course, has been made of the four errors committed by the Brewers that led to three unearned runs. Much also has been made of Tony LaRussa's brilliant gamesmanship as manager during the game (eyeroll). And of course, there was the fantastic performance of the Cardinal bullpen that recorded the last and conversely, the Brewers lack of getting to those relief pitchers. In the middle of it all was Zack Greinke.

Greinke simply wasn't effective yesterday and really hasn't been for much of the last month. This writer will never know if the game plan was for Greinke to pitch to contact. But pitch to contact he did. Greinke struck out no one and in fact only induced only two swing and misses all night in 89 pitches. Errors or no errors, if Greinke had missed a few bats, the results might have been different.

But what earns Greinke his John Lackey Award is his reaction to the Jerry Hairston play that resulted in two runs. In fairness to Greinke, it's unknown if he was mad at himself, Hairston or life in general. But as you can see in the linked video, Greinke slammed the ball down after the two runs scored from the error. It was a bush league move and perfectly in line for the award he's being given here.

There were so many things that were wrong on that play. Yes, Hairston blew it. Yes, he then interfered with Yadier Molina (who is looking more and more like his brothers now) that allowed Molina an interference call. But what if Hairston didn't interfere with Molina? What the heck was Greinke doing in front of the plate? His taking that throw from the outfield is reminiscent of the Manny Ramirez famous cut off play. Excuse the Fan, Zack, but you were supposed to be behind the plate not in front of it.

Some could say that he knew it was interference and knew it didn't matter. If so, then why did he try to swipe tag Molina? It was after missing on the swipe tag attempt that Greinke fired the ball into the dirt in frustration.

Zack Greinke famously said negative things about Chris Carpenter before the series started. But perhaps, instead of cranking on the Cardinals' ace, he should take some lessons.

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