Why Zack Greinke Shouldn’t Inspire Confidence In Astros Amid Pitching Woes

It has been a bumpy year for Greinke


October 19, 2021

It is quite possible Zack Greinke gets the ball for the Houston Astros on Tuesday and gives them exactly what they need, and have yet to get, from a starting pitcher.

But while the 37-year-old has had an incredible career, a reality check needs to be issued on the right-hander, who is more likely to continue Houston’s woeful trend than end it.

Astros manager Dusty Baker on Monday confirmed that Greinke would get the ball for Tuesday’s Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. It never was a certainty that Greinke would even be on the Astros’ ALCS roster for a myriad of reasons, but he made it and now is going to try preventing his team from getting pushed a game from elimination.

Baker had said prior to the series that Greinke only is stretched out to 40 pitches, a number the hurler wouldn’t confirm Monday.

“We’ll see. I haven’t gone real deep recently and we’ll just see what happens, and we’ll be ready, and we’ll go from there,” Greinke said, via ASAP Sports.

That’s not an encouraging response for the Astros, who more than anything need some length from a starter after the first three combined for 5 1/3 innings.

Further, Greinke’s last few months have been a roller coaster. He tested positive for COVID-19 and missed time, and also was sidelined with neck soreness. When he was on the mound during the back half of the season, the results were mixed, with Greinke posting a 5.34 ERA and a 3-3 record in that stretch. Meanwhile, he’s pitched just one inning this postseason after making just three appearances the last month of the regular season.

“I pitched one inning a little bit ago, so I have pitched,” Greinke said, while also indicating he has thrown a bullpen since his lone appearance in the ALDS. “Been playing catch every day, and just not much you can do, I guess, but should be good. Should be good to go.”

The Astros are paying Greinke a ton of money for moments specifically like this. The problem is, he’s not nearly the same pitcher as when he arrived a few years back. That could be problematic.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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