Red Sox - 000 000 010 - 1 2 0Greinke (6-2-0-3-5, 91) pitched as expected, with a nasty slider and a fastball at 96-97 with pinpoint control. He has now allowed only one earned run in his last 35 innings, over five starts.
Royals - 500 000 00x - 5 9 1
Byrd (6.2-9-5-4-0, 101) was also good -- as long as you forgot about his first 19 pitches. Four singles and two walks to the first eight Royals he faced put the Sox in a 5-0 hole. However, he was getting seriously squeezed by home plate umpire Andy Fletcher: two of the four balls he threw to Mike Jacobs in the first (who he walked to force in the first run) were clearly strikes. In the seventh, consecutive pitches to the exact same spot in the zone to Billy Butler were called a ball and strike.
Meanwhile, Greinke got a few calls on pitches 6-12 inches outside (two strikes to Ellsbury in the third and two strikes to David Ortiz in the sixth). The final outcome of the game was likely not changed, but it was still annoying and wrong, and Greinke did not need the extra help.
Boston's two hits extended the hitting streaks of both Victor Martinez (21 games, sixth inning single) and Dustin Pedroia (14 games, first inning double). Jacoby Ellsbury stole his 64th base of the year in the eighth.
Paul Byrd (5.79, 82 ERA+) / Zack Greinke (2.14, 204 ERA+)
KC has Greinke -- the only choice for the American League Cy Young Award among people with brains.
He had an 0.84 ERA through his first ten starts, his ERA did not go over 2.00 until the All-Star break, he has a 1.24 ERA in his last seven starts, and a 0.34 ERA (one earned run in 29 innings) in his last four starts. In his eight no-decisions, his ERA is 1.95.
If any writer(s) penalize(s) Greinke for his W-L record -- which is 14-8 right now because the Royals have scored more than three runs in only 11 of his 30 starts -- they should be locked up in a mental institution. Instead, they will probably be offered a job as an ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst.
Boston has Byrd, who a couple of months ago was spending his afternoons throwing batting practice to the Georgia Road Runners, the 13-and-under team his two sons play on.
Sometimes mismatches turn out exactly how they "should". Other times, they don't.
Out West at 10: Yankees/Angels (Gaudin/Santana) and Rangers/A's.