Zack is Back: Mendoza outduels Greinke

Alex Gordon welcomed former teammate Zack Greinke back to Kauffman Stadium by hitting a leadoff homer in the first inning and was outdueled by fill-in starter Luis “Mexican Mullet” Mendoza, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning…and it still wasn’t good enough.

That’s how things have been going for the Royals, who are 4-6 in their last 10 games, but it has been an adventure just getting to those four wins, where they have scored just seven runs (1.75 per game) in those wins – three which were shutouts.

In those 10 games, the Royals (25-34) have scored just 26 runs (2.6 per game), seven of which came in a 10-7 loss.

And the hits kept on coming, as Felipe Paulino (3-1, 1.68 ERA), who has 20 scoreless innings at home (an unearned run was scored in one inning of work in his last start), is back on the DL for the second time this year (he also started the season on the DL). Instead of seeing a Paulino-Greinke showdown, we got to see a Mendoza-Greinke duel.

Mendoza delivered. Gordon gave him the first inning run with the 430-foot bomb in the first, and the Mexican Mullet cruised into the seventh inning with a no-hitter. Two hitters into the inning, he was out of the game and was on verge of suffering a loss – before he was saved, again, by Alex Gordon, who gunned down Ryan Braun, who broke up the no-no in the seventh with an infield singe and moved to third little league-esque on two throwing errors as Hosmer, who could have easily moved off the bag to save the throw, remained on the bag to try and keep the no-hitter intact, at the plate on a would-be sacrifice fly. This was the first batter Aaron Crow faced after Mendoza walked Aramis Ramirez and was out of the game. It appeared the inning was harmlessly over, but Richie Weeks and his .156 AVG blooped a single into the outfield scoring Ramirez, tying the game.

Mendoza goes from no-hitter two no-decision. Sad.

But, nonetheless, as Gordon, who doubled to leadoff the inning, scored on Billy Butler’s clutch eighth inning single and Broxton flirted with danger but locked down another save (15), the Royals win, beating Grenike in his return.

And Zack, who received more cheers than boo’s when he took the mound, was being Zack after the game.

“I was pretty rude on the way out,” Greinke said as he talked about the team and the city he disowned. “I felt like I had to in order to get out. I didn’t want to have to be the bad guy, but I felt like I had to be. I liked it here. The fans were great. I don’t know how so many of them come to the games when they’ve been bad for so long, but it’s pretty impressive. Its a great city with great fans.”

Greinke pitched a lot like he did in winning the Cy Young for KC in 2009. Now he is on a bad team again. Greinke (7-2) is 23-8 as a Brewer (undefeated at Miller Park) and his team is 9-4 in his 13 starts this year. The team is 10 games below .500 (19-29) otherwise. He allowed 15 ER in just six innings in his two losses, and has a 1.36 ERA n his other 11 starts. Greinke struck out eight with a zero-walk performance against the Royals and now has 89 K’s, which are more than anyone in the National League but Stephen Strasburg (who’s up by three) and Gio Gonzalez (with whom he is tied).

Greinke will hit free agency again after this season, and their is NO WAY the head case goes to a major market. He will have a mental breakdown. So, is there a chance he could come back to KC? Would the Glass family be willing to pay, say, $110 million over 6 years? Glass has been on record as saying “No way” he would pay one player that much money…and, would Greinke want to come back? Greinke has a condo in KC, on the Plaza. George Brett wanted to buy it, and he refused to sell…why? The best question is would KC want him back? Im sure the fans would quickly forgive and forget, but will the organization? Bridges may have been burned, but he is so damn good, does it even matter?

Id did not know what to think last night. Should I even care that he was back? Should I boo? Should I cheer? He was an ass on his way out of town, but, for one magical season, Zack Greinke made baseball in KC fun again. He was the talk of the town. He went from a 5-17 season to quitting baseball, to making a comeback and being a Cy Young.

I’d gladly take him back. Would you?

And, one last question, was the trade for Alcides Escobar, Jake Odorizzi, Lorenzo Cain and Jeremy Jeffress, respectively the shortstop, top pitching prospect, center fielder and hardest thrower in the Brewers organization an even trade?

***

  • Broxton lowered his ERA to 1.52 and is a legit candidate for the All-Star game. He is 15/17 in save opportunities this year.
  • Before the game, Chris Getz, as expected, was activated from the DL and started his first game since May 21. Johnny Giovatella was sent back to Omaha. Giavotella needs to be playing everyday, whether it is in Omaha or Kansas City.
  • Today Jonathan Sanchez will be activated from the DL to face the Brewers. Louis Coleman was demoted back to Omaha (again).

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