Zack Greinke looked done entering this year. He had a 4.37 ERA last season and had the worst fastball velocity of his career in spring training, Chase Field has allowed 15 percent more runs than average over the past three years, which is the third-most in baseball. I wanted no part of him. But here we are, and he has a 2.79 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP over the first eight starts of the season. He has a 28.4 K% that ranks top-10 in all of baseball. Greinke has reinvented himself in an impressive way and has missed bats with decreased velo. His 2.90 xFIP is essentially the same as Clayton Kershaw’s (2.86).
Here’s the worst way to defend a pickle (and a rare defensible reason to slide into first base).
This play by Corey Dickerson was pretty great.
Headlines of the Week: Enormous Sea Creature Found Decomposing On Indonesian Beach…Drunk Woman Breaks Into Home, Goes To Sleep…Man Wins $5 Million While Fetching Corn Dog For Wife…Pastor Eaten By 3 Crocodiles While Trying To Walk On Water Like Jesus…$170K Stolen Bees Recovered In ‘Sting.’
Quick Hits: Cody Bellinger has struck out multiple times in each of his past five games, but he still has a 1.093 OPS on the year. He’s slugging .750 against righties, and Andrew Toles is out for the season with a torn ACL, so playing time won’t be an issue. Bellinger sure looks like a star in the making…Matt Harvey was dropped in my home league. If you told me this two years ago, I would have called you crazy. I picked him up by the way…Jake Odorizzi sports a 0.81 WHIP while pitching in the A.L. East with an 11.8 SwStr%. Pretty impressive…Craig Kimbrel had three strikeouts on nine pitches Thursday, which is referred to as an “immaculate inning.” Max Scherzer did the same Sunday after taking a 100 MPH liner off his leg earlier. We’ve had three immaculate innings so far this season, and the record is seven (h/t Deadspin)
Police Blotter: Man Calls 911 In Florida To Ask To Be Deported…Inmate Seeks Execution By Firing Squad, Says Lethal Injection Too Painful…Inmate Escapes Work Detail To Go To Job Interview…Half-Naked Driver Crashes Car Into Store To Get Beer…Man Charged With Attempted Murder In Mannequin Hammer Attack.
Quick Hits Part Deux: Alex Wood has one of the weirdest throwing motions in baseball. He also now has a 29:3 K:BB ratio over his last three starts (including his last one occurring in Coors Field) that accompanied 16.0 innings and a 2.25 ERA. He’s an injury risk, but this type of K rate is legit. His average FB velocity (92.9 mph) is the best of his career, he’s in the right division and ballpark and is available in 30 percent of Yahoo leagues…Nate Karns has fanned 22 batters over his last two starts in 11.1 innings. His SwStr% is 12.9. That ranks top-10 among all starters in baseball. He’s owned in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues. Go get him…Jayson Werth is quietly on pace to finish hitting .303 with 26 homers and 92 runs scored…Jose Ramirez is on pace to finish with 108 RBI. He’s struggled a bit of late but has been one of the bigger steals based on ADP this year…Mike Leake has a 1.94 ERA with a 0.99 WHIP. I’d say to sell-high since he has a modest 32:10 K:BB ratio, but I doubt that’s really doable.
Song of the Week: Harry Styles – Sign Of The Times
Longread of the Week: Isdal Woman: The Mystery Death Haunting Norway For 46 Years
Quick Hits Part Tres: Eduardo Rodriguez has 42 strikeouts over 35.1 innings with a 2.80 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. He’s been unlucky with just one win, and his 14.4 SwStr% ranks No. 6 among all starters. He’s available in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues…Kyle Schwarber passes the eye test and has taken 24 walks over 134 at bats. But he currently sports a .656 OPS and has gone hitless in four straight games. I’d be trying to buy-low here in a big way…Speaking of buying low, Miguel Cabrera currently has a .238/.319/.396 line...Julio Teheran has a 5.33 xFIP, while Jaime Garcia has an MLB-low 2.0 K-BB%. The second lowest is R.A. Dickey’s at 2.2%. That’s not a great combination for a pitching staff…Ervin Santana has a 98.4 LOB%. The highest mark last year was Jon Lester at 84.9.