Royals' Greinke falls to 0-3 despite valiant effort

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greinke in crouch.jpgZack Greinke threw his 10th career complete game Sunday against the Rays, but was handed his third loss of the season and now stands 0-3 on the year. 

Greinke was spectacular as usual, fanning six batters and allowing just five base runners all day.  But, yet again, he received zero run support and had his win-loss record tainted.  The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner is on pace for 214 strikeouts, just 45 walks, a 0.98 WHIP, 2.27 ERA, but also a record of 0-19.  Baseball and the people who cover it have made a lot of progress in the last few years with understanding what makes a pitcher successful, but how many Cy Young votes would an 0-19 pitcher get even if all of his other stats were top-of-the-line?  We might just find out.  And ESPN’s Keith Law thinks he’d be left off half of all Cy ballots.

Greinke, 26, has has not registered a win in 10 career starts against the Rays.  Then again, it’s probably time to throw the “win,” as a pitching stat, right out the window.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.

McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).

McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.