They Used to Shell That Zack Greinke; Now They Wear His T-Shirt

Tuesday August 10, 2004: Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox. A rookie starter for the Royals coughs up seven earned runs in five innings and some change. Carlos Lee, Joe Crede and Paul Konerko all hit one out, handing the young pitcher his ninth loss of another lost Kansas City season. Sox win, 9-3.

June 21, 2005: Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox. The starter, still looking to prove something, anything, throws 94 pitches to 24 batters in five innings. He strikes out eight yet walks none. Scott Podsednik steals a base for the White Sox; Mike MacDougal throws a perfect eighth inning for the Royals. Sox win, 5-1.

July 25, 2005, Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox. The young Royals starter pitches the worst game of his young career en route to an MLB-topping 17 losses. Seven earned runs, ten hits, three walks and a homer in 3.1 innings. Sox win, 14-6.

May 12, June 29, August 20, September 20 and 26, 2007, Kansas City Royals vs. Chicago White Sox. The kid pitches well against the Good Guys, but so does everyone else. The kid goes 1-0 with a save and a hold, although the Sox are 2-2 against the Royals whenever he takes the mound.

June 3, 2008, Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox. Six innings, eight earned runs. Carlos Quentin, Nick Swisher, A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez have a homer each. Sox win, 9-5.

July 18, 2008, Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox. Three innings, eleven hits, seven earned runs, three walks, a wild pitch and a baseball in the side of Carlos Quentin. The kid throws almost as many pitches in three innings (87) as Mark Buehrle throws in seven (98). Sox win, 9-5. Again.

August 3, 2008, Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals. The no-longer-the-worst-team-in-the-Central Royals wish the editor of a particularly smug White Sox blog a happy birthday by crushing the only team said editor cares about 14-3 and beating them up to boot. The kid, the Royals kid, does alright. Six and a third. Two runs. Six punchouts. Could be he’s not so bad after all.

May 4, 2009, Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals. Maybe this really is the way it was always supposed to be, but ask yourself: who’s afraid of a Kansas City Royal?

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