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.
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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