The 3 most exciting KC Royals moments of 2023

There were indeed gems amid all the debris.

Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
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No. 3: Zack Greinke's final appearance?

Zack Greinke's final start of the season gets the No. 3 nod on our list.

Greinke's season surely did not go as he'd hoped. He finished 21 strikeouts shy of 3,000 for his career, and posted a 5.06 ERA, far worse than his 3.68 of 2022. Pitching win-loss records are not great indicators of individual performance, but a competitor like Greinke couldn't have been satisfied with his 2-15 mark.

He finished strong, however. On Sept. 26, he hurled five innings of one-hit ball with five strikeouts in a no-decision at Detroit. But it was his last start on the season's final day that will stick with us. More fans than attended the Tampa Bay Rays' wild card games came out to Kauffman Stadium to see what might have been Greinke's final outing on a big league mound.

Greinke delivered. He wasn't as dominant as in his previous start, but he threw five solid innings against the Yankees, scattering four hits, a run, and striking out two while picking up the win in a 5-2 victory. And he did it in the powder blues!

It remains to be seen if it was Greinke's last game. The Royals have been in discussions with him, and it feels like there's a pretty good chance he has one more chapter to write. But if this was the ending, it was a good way to go out. He even smiled when he got a standing ovation.