Did you see the smile on Zack Greinke's face just now in the Milwaukee dugout? It was a wonderful thing to see. He obviously made the right move for himself.
In his first at-bat in the second inning, with a 4-0 lead, he drove a pitch to the wall in left center. It didn't go out, but that didn't matter. It was good wood on a good swing with everything in sync.
Back in the dugout, his grin was infectious. In fact, it was More like uninhibited. And if you are a Kansas City fan, you have to ask yourself the last time you remember Zack Grienke being uninhibited. Better put, when was the last time you saw Zack Greinke enjoying the game?
The kid needed to swing the bat once in a while. Heck, a manager and general manager with guts would have made him a utility infielder on the days he didn't pitch. But, that's not how million dollar assets are treated at the major league level. Too bad.
Anyway, it was good to see the kid is still a kid. More later. He has a five-run lead. Let's see if he can pitch when his mind is on hitting. Hmmm... he just threw a fastball past Ronny Cedeno (.222) for strike one.
Later: Well, Greinke got out of the second inning on seven pitches but in the fifth, the roof caved in. This has been a familiar outcome for Greinke, familiar to Kansas City fans. It's like the kid gets bored or loses his concentration or his pitches just flatten out. He needs a catcher who understands this and knows what to do about it. But the difference today is the kid isn't in Kansas City 2010. He got out of the inning ahead 6-5 and the Brewers tacked on two more runs in the sixth. He got the win despite a disasterous fifth.
Fine photograph from yesterday: Michael Sears, Milwaukee Journal
BTW: Tony Pena Jr. is now pitching for the Red Sox affiliate Pawtucket. He's seeing limited action, having pitched in just eight games with a large era approaching five. However, he is still in Triple A, which means he still has a chance.