KANSAS CITY -- Throughout his career, Zack Greinke has pitched extraordinarily well in the month of September, and this season seems to be no different.
Greinke put together his latest masterpiece on Saturday, allowing one run over 8 1/3 innings in the Angels' 3-2 loss to the Royals, Greinke's former team. In three September starts this season , Greinke is 2-0 with a 1.61 ERA. He's allowed just four runs in 22 1/3 innings.
It's a trend that he's set throughout his career, now in its ninth season. In 46 career appearances (43 starts) in the final month of the regular season, Greinke is 21-10 with a 2.96 ERA. He's won more games in September (with some regular-season October games peppered in) than in any other month. Only in the March/April combo month has he posted a lower career ERA of 2.40.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said that the key to strong Septembers is that Greinke's stuff stays good from the start of the season to the end.
"I think at looking at Zack and just grading on his stuff, he maintains his stuff throughout a season, which is good, from what we've seen," Scioscia said. "We looked at him in a couple years, looked at him in Milwaukee last year. He seems to finish strong. You're always going to lose something, but I think the attrition rate with his stuff declining is a lot slower than some of the other pitchers we've seen. That's part of it. I don't think he's the only guy that finishes strongly, a lot of guys do. It's usually for different reasons, not always one thing. But I do think the biggest one is probably maintaining your stuff."
Another strong finish from Greinke is a great sign for the Angels, who are locked in the American League Wild Card race. And, given a rough string of starts shortly after he joined the Angels, this usual September Greinke is a welcome addition.
"What's impressed us about Zack is, first of all, his makeup," Scioscia said. "He doesn't get taken out of his game. He does everything from being able to repeat pitches when he's on, to fielding his position to controlling the running game. There's a great presence he brings when he's on the mound and is pitching to his capabilities, and we've seen that. He's been great in the clubhouse. He's got a good sense of humor, he gets along with guys and he loves to compete."