Astros: Zack Greinke’s debut saved by offensive prowess
By Brian Murray
Houston got the win in Zack Greinke’s first game as an Astro. But it wasn’t his pitching that earned the victory, it was the relentless offense.
On a night when all eyes were on the Astros newly acquired Zack Greinke, everybody watching his much-anticipated debut, it was players like Yuli Gurriel and Yordan Alvarez that came out the heroes.
The Astros jumped out to an early two-run lead in the second inning when Alvarez followed up Alex Bregman‘s double with his 14th home run of the season. Michael Brantley added to the lead in the third with a run-scoring single knocking in Jose Altuve. Greinke has a three-run lead and everything is going as planned, right?
Well, not so fast. Colorado leads off the next inning with an overturned call resulting in a single by Trevor Story. Greinke then walks Daniel Murphy. After both runners advance to second and third on a wild pitch by Greinke, a sac fly by Nolan Arenado and a double by Ryan McMahon, it’s suddenly a one-run game.
The Astros give Greinke the three-run lead back after a solo shot by Gurriel in the fourth and George Springer scoring on a Brantley ground ball in the fifth. Surely, going into the sixth up by three is enough for Greinke to sew up the victory.
Hold the phone. In the top of the sixth, Raimel Tapia ties it up with a home run to center field off of a badly placed curveball, knocking in McMahon and Ian Desmond. “I usually locate that pitch really good,” Greinke said, “so I don’t know why I threw that one so bad.”
But in the bottom half of the inning, the Astros go back up by two on a Carlos Correa homer and a run-scoring single by Springer. That would end up being all they would need to secure the win for the Astros and for Zack Greinke.
Houston would go on to the pad the lead with four more runs in the seventh with a two-run double by Correa and Gurriel’s second homer of the night. Astros win it by the score of 11-6, but it’s not really the way anyone, including Greinke, thought his debut would go. But he’ll have plenty more chances to prove that he’ll be a huge asset to this rotation and the team.