Up until that point, one of the very few remaining arguments against Zack Greinke's right to the AL Cy Young was the fact that he hadn't faced the Yankees or Red Sox this season. Needless to say, this is a pretty weak point both because pitcher's can't control their own schedule and if you wanted to complain about a lack of competition, you might want to start by noting that he pitches in the AL Central.
The reason that the Yankees didn't see him the first time around this year goes back to the fact that Gil Meche was tagged as the opening day starter for the Royals. This was due in part because he had that designation ever since being signed to a 5 year, $55M deal before the beginning of the 2007 season, but we can be sure it won't be the case next year, barring some unforeseen circumstances. Greinke was the Royals best pitcher last year too, but not by all that much, and as such was ticketed to start the second game of the season. As a result, when the Yankees came to town for the 4th through 6th games of the season, they missed the Zack Attack who pitched in the 2nd and 7th.
[Sidenote: The Yankees actually drafted Zack's younger brother Luke in the 12th round out of Auburn University last June. The lesser Greinke started 9 games for the Staten Island Yanks to a 4.01 ERA in 33 1/3 IP but was released out of Spring Training this year, before he could be assigned to a higher level of the minor leagues.]
As fate would have it, however, Zack Greinke shut down the Twins over 7 innings on Sunday night, temporarily derailing their charge for the AL Central title, and will once again miss the Yankees. This would be a welcome reprieve during the regular season, one that the Yankees never seem to get from the likes of Roy Halladay. However, with nothing left to be determined but how many games over 100 the Yankees can win and who gets the last few spots on the postseason roster, it would have been nice to see Greinke make a start which could potentially tip which way the Cy Young voting goes.
As Joe Posnanski has seemingly taken it upon himself to prove, Greinke is having a historically great season. He currently leads the league with an absurd 2.06 ERA (213 ERA+) and 1.066 WHIP, and has struck out 237 and walked just 49 in 223 1/3 IP. He's gone fewer than six innings only four times all year, and in two of those outings, he didn't allow any runs. His six complete games are second only to Roy Halladay's 8 and both of them have 3 shutouts to their name. Basically, the only reason he hasn't won 20 games yet is because the Royals are historically inept offensively.
As Jason pointed out this morning, Greinke's ERA in his losses is just about equal to CC Sabathia's overall mark. Were he having the same type of season for the Yankees, he'd likely be headed for 25+ wins. If he doesn't get the Cy Young it will rank alongside choosing Bartolo Colon over Johan Santana - and to a lesser extent, Mariano Rivera - in 2005 in terms of recent egregious snubs.
It's too bad we won't be able to see him first hand against the Yankees.