Inside the Astros: Zach Grinker’s legend grows
SAN DIEGO — Zack Greinke can develop his legend by accident. On Sunday, he sat behind the mound at Peco Park overseeing the ground crew, which was somehow Glink’s second-oddest snapshot of the day.
53.5 mph blow to Padres lead hitter Trent Grisham in third inning draws attention on court and in sport – Glink 2020 season Another chapter of is becoming a spectacle. For the next two games, he sat in the open seat in Oakland and gave up his sign.
On Sunday, though, Greink threw the slowest hit by a pitcher in a major league game since 2017, according to MLB.com. The 53.5 mph course is officially classified as a curveball. Some call it eephus. Glick called it an accident.
“There was absolutely no plan, but it worked,” Greinke said.
Greinke’s slow offerings are nothing new. His curveball averaged 72.7 mph and could get down to the lows of the 60s. Sunday’s offer was Gink’s slowest since Sept. 5, 2017, against the Dodgers with a 52.7-mph eephus.
It all happened in the third inning. Glink led by three points with two outs. He went 1-1 against Grisham — the San Diego starter hit three home runs in Saturday’s 13-2 game.
Greinke wants to rotate a slider. He and catcher Martin Maldonado checked their signs. Glink thinks the two are on the same page. Maldonado is ready to leave, which immediately portends trouble.
“I know we’re not on the same page,” Greinke said.
“Whenever I run into a catcher and he’s standing in a position I didn’t expect, I either get off or pitch. A slow pitch.”
Greinke intends to do it here. He wanted a 60-mph pitch that wouldn’t swing too far from Grisham.
He started his delivery, but in the middle, something happened that Greinke himself couldn’t even explain. The course looped in and landed in the middle of Grisham’s strike zone. Home run referee Corey Glaser called it a strike. Grisham seemed to smile. The Astros’ TV broadcast was greeted with rapturous — and unbelievable — laughter.
“I don’t know what happened in the last tenth of a second,” Greinke said. “I don’t remember thinking about going on strike, it just happened.”
“Hopefully I don’t do it again. Usually I try to pitch with it, but I don’t know why I didn’t pitch it that time, it just didn’t happen.”
Once everyone had regained some normal appearances, Gink refocused his attention on Grisham. He and Maldonado agreed on a four-seam fastball. Grinker embellished it on the outer half. 89.4 mph – almost a 37 mph difference. Grisham watched as it drove past the third strike.
Greinke surrendered three runs in six innings. With a 2.29 ERA, he’s still an ace for the Houston staff in Justin Verlander’s absence. still. Much of the conversation Sunday revolved around the slowball. Glink doesn’t think it’s a sight to behold.
“I can throw such a slow ball at any time,” Glick said. “It’s not that difficult to do.”
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