Astros' Greinke holds up 2 fingers, then allows HR on slider
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Houston pitcher Zack Greinke 'held two fingers toward Ramon Laureano and Astros catcher Martin Maldonado of Oakland in the second inning of his AL Division Series Game 4 on Thursday, and Laureano hit a hanging slider that was 440 feet to the left was a tiebreaking homer with three runs.
Could Greinke have signaled his pitch?
Greinke has at times used a show of hands to switch fonts during the inning with Laureano.
Laureano put in 3 for 22 in the postseason but didn't seem concerned about Greinke.
'' We know all the pitches. It's just another guy on the hill, ”Laureano said before the game. '' Go out there and hopefully we'll have the best performance we've ever had. ''
It's the first post-season homer Greinke has allowed since the World Series seventh game against Washington last year, when Anthony Rendon's solo shot began the Nationals' comeback.
Greinke was announced by manager Dusty Baker as the starter for Game 4 about three hours before the planned first pitch.
The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner is Houston's most seasoned starter but has dealt with arm pain. Greinke, who will turn 37 on October 21, threw a flat floor after Tuesday's game and told Baker Thursday morning he was ready to leave.
Houston was a win before reaching the AL Championship Series for the fourth consecutive year.
`` He had to hear from the doctor that there was nothing structurally wrong with his arm, which calmed his mind. It made his decision easier, ”said Baker.
Greinke had thrown five innings or less in each of his previous four starts, including the wild card series opener against Minnesota, and allowed 12 earned runs over 18 2/3 innings in that period.
Baker said he wasn't sure how long Greinke could compete against athletics. His other concern is Houston's bullpen, which was taxed in the first three games.
`` We hope to get as many quality innings as Greinke can give us and not have too many bullpen innings. The longer your starter lasts, the less mixing and matching you'll have to do, ”Baker said.
The Bullpen had not allowed a deserved run in the first four postseason games, but gave up five runs and six hits on Wednesday.
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