How good was Zack Greinke in 2009?

Here’s a visual breakdown of Zack Greinke’s 2009 season.  If you’ve seen past posts from me, you’ll notice that I am interested in exploring new ways to view and understand the game of baseball besides looking at numbers.  And while I’ve shown the actual numbers for Greinke’s monthly ERA on the left, the point of this graphic is to demonstrate his performance visually and relative to the rest of the American League starters.   Think of it as a performance bar chart.   Some conclusions from this visual? First, we see that with the exception of June, Greinke was at the very top of all American League starters in ERA each month.  He was amazingly consistent – if you look at other “aces” throughout baseball, it’s rare to see them pitch like a true #1 (the first cluster in each month column) EVERY month.  So Greinke pitched like an ace for 5 months, and a #3 starter for one month.  He also started and finished strong – as THE best starter in the American League.  If you’re interested in comparing Greinke to his CY Young competitors (CC Sabathia, Felix Hernandez, and Justin Verlander), you can look more closely at the names above and below Greinke each month and you’ll see none of them came close to his relative excellence and consistency.

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