Launching Pad: Can Greinke get any support?

What to expect in the major leagues Saturday:

Same old story for Greinke

Zack Greinke likely will need to be at his best against the Red Sox.
Zack Greinke likely will need to be at his best against the Red Sox.

As great as Zack Greinke is, he can’t drive in runs or be counted on for a nine-inning gem every time he starts. The reigning A.L. Cy Young award winner left his opening day start with a 2-1 lead after six innings, but Kansas City eventually lost 8-4.

Saturday, the problem could be run support because the Royals are facing Red Sox ace Josh Beckett, who went 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA and 14 strikeouts in two starts against the Royals in 2009. In his lone start against the Red Sox last season, Greinke tossed six shutout innings and struck out five in a 5-1 win in Kansas City.

Ruling over the Rangers

In Texas this afternoon, Felix Hernandez, the runner-up in the A.L. Cy Young award voting last season, will try to find the command that eluded him on opening day. King Felix uncharacteristically walked six A’s batters in 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision but should be excited to see the Rangers.

In six starts against Texas last season, Hernandez went 4-1 with a 2.38 ERA (he didn’t beat any other team more than twice last season). Count Rangers left fielder Josh Hamilton among those who won’t be thrilled to see Hernandez on the mound. Hamilton is 2-for-21 (.095) with six strikeouts in his career against the righthander.

Big Z’s big ERA

The new and improved Carlos Zambrano must have stayed behind in Arizona when the Cubs broke camp. Although Zambrano is noticeably slimmer, his ERA is noticeably inflated after a disastrous opening day outing in Atlanta.

The righthander was pounded for eight earned runs on six hits (two homers) in 1 1/3 innings. With a complete-game shutout this afternoon in Cincinnati, Zambrano could lower his ERA from 54.00 to 6.97.

Chris Bahr is Sporting News’ baseball editor. E-mail him at cbahr@sportingnews.com.

What to expect in the major leagues Saturday:

Same old story for Greinke

Zack Greinke likely will need to be at his best against the Red Sox.
Zack Greinke likely will need to be at his best against the Red Sox.

As great as Zack Greinke is, he can’t drive in runs or be counted on for a nine-inning gem every time he starts. The reigning A.L. Cy Young award winner left his opening day start with a 2-1 lead after six innings, but Kansas City eventually lost 8-4.

Saturday, the problem could be run support because the Royals are facing Red Sox ace Josh Beckett, who went 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA and 14 strikeouts in two starts against the Royals in 2009. In his lone start against the Red Sox last season, Greinke tossed six shutout innings and struck out five in a 5-1 win in Kansas City.

Ruling over the Rangers

In Texas this afternoon, Felix Hernandez, the runner-up in the A.L. Cy Young award voting last season, will try to find the command that eluded him on opening day. King Felix uncharacteristically walked six A’s batters in 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision but should be excited to see the Rangers.

In six starts against Texas last season, Hernandez went 4-1 with a 2.38 ERA (he didn’t beat any other team more than twice last season). Count Rangers left fielder Josh Hamilton among those who won’t be thrilled to see Hernandez on the mound. Hamilton is 2-for-21 (.095) with six strikeouts in his career against the righthander.

Big Z’s big ERA

The new and improved Carlos Zambrano must have stayed behind in Arizona when the Cubs broke camp. Although Zambrano is noticeably slimmer, his ERA is noticeably inflated after a disastrous opening day outing in Atlanta.

The righthander was pounded for eight earned runs on six hits (two homers) in 1 1/3 innings. With a complete-game shutout this afternoon in Cincinnati, Zambrano could lower his ERA from 54.00 to 6.97.

Chris Bahr is Sporting News’ baseball editor. E-mail him at cbahr@sportingnews.com.

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