Did Zacj Grienke really give away pitch sign

Did Zach Greinke really give away a pitch to the Oakland A’s?

The Houston Astros pitcher caused a stir on Thursday when he held up two fingers moments before throwing a 3-2 pitch that A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano deposited into the left field stands for a two-run home run in Game 4 of the ALDS.

Did Greinke really give away pitch?

That looks … bizarre. Was Greinke atoning for the sins of the Astros sign-stealing scandal by blatantly giving away pitches to a playoff opponent?

If that seems unlikely, it’s because it is.

While it’s fun for fans to think that a six-time All-Star pitcher for baseball’s most reviled franchise would suffer such a monumental lapse of judgment, the more likely explanation is much more mundane.

Houston Astros’ Zack Greinke pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of Game 4 of a baseball American League Division Series in Los Angeles, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Here’s what more likely really happened

Greinke wasn’t likely signaling what pitch was coming. It’s much more likely that he was communicating a pitch sequence with catcher Martin Maldonado.

So rather than signaling “two” for a curve ball, Greinke was more likely signaling a code to his catcher that only he and his Astros teammates know to indicate what series of pitches was coming. Plus, that looked like a slider, not a curveball.

For Laureano, it doesn’t appear to matter what Greinke is or isn’t signaling. In his very next at-bat on Thursday, he took Greinke deep for another home run to left field to cut Houston’s fifth-inning lead to 5-4.

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