Because the big guy in the goofy goggles has been pretty impressive lately.
But the Orioles’ former/deposed closer has entered his past two outings in the extra innings of tied games. He has held the opponent scoreless and ended up with the win.
Gregg, who was booed on Opening Day at Camden Yards, didn’t make things better when he allowed five earned runs in his first 3 2/3 innings this season.
But he hasn’t allowed a run since. That’s seven scoreless outings over 9 1/3 innings. In that time, he has given up three hits, three walks, hit a batter and struck out eight.
After Friday’s game, Orioles manager Buck Showalter was asked about Gregg’s recent surge and said this:
“There's nobody more professional in our clubhouse than Kevin Gregg. There's nobody more competitive. And I don't think I have to tell you all that. You don't do what he's done for a long period of time without having some real moxie about handling tough times and not getting caught up in the good times. I think everybody in the clubhouse respects Kevin so much, and to see him get some return for his approach to competition, I think, means a lot to everybody.”
It can even mean something to the Kevin Gregg haters out there. Because if he keeps pitching this well – his ERA is now at a respectable 3.46 – maybe your dreams will come true and the Orioles can deal him at the trade deadline.
Then again, if the Orioles are in contention in July, they may feel they can’t afford to give up Gregg.
In what already has been a surprising season, that might end up as the most surprising development.