A Gem In Greinke’s First Start

The Braves and the Brewers squared off in a double header on Wednesday.

The Brewers were excited. The largest off-season acquisition for the team, Zack Greinke, was set to take the mound for the first time in 2011. The staff ace was set to take the mound after recovering from an injury sustained in a pick up basketball game. Brewers fans wished each other “Happy Greinke Day” and settled in to watch the former Cy Young Award winner with the Royals take the mound in a new shade of blue.

If it was a Cy Young caliber pitching performance that the fans wanted, they got it. If it was from Greinke that they expected to get if from, well, that was a bit of a problem. The pitching performance that Brewers fans settled in to watch did not come from a former Royal, it was the former Athletic Tim Hudson who himself is establishing himself as an ace once again.

Brewers perennial All Star Rickie Weeks would hit a double off of Hudson to lead off the fourth inning and drew a walk in the ninth. That would be all the action the Brewers could muster against Hudson as he would put together the third one-hitter and 12th shutout of his career.

The buzz going into the night was all about the Brewers’ new found ace but it did not last. Greinke failed to get into the fifth inning, only going four while giving up five hits, five runs (four earned), and walking one. He did strikeout six and found himself playing the victim of circumstance early on. Indeed, Greinke must have felt that he was back in Kansas City in the first inning. A fielding error by Prince Fielder and catcher’s interference being called on Wil Nieves would lead to run off a single by Dan Uggla.

If Greinke could hang the first inning on his defense, the fourth inning would not give such a luxury. A leadoff double by David Ross would be followed by another one by Eric Hinske, plating the Braves’ second run. Nate McLouth would put the exclamation point on the night with a no doubt, two-run home run.

It seems to me that Greinke found new surroundings but the same old ballgame.

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