Astros: Zack Greinke not sharp, Justin Verlander to start Game 4
Zack Greinke just couldn’t tame Tampa’s bats forcing Game 4 of the ALDS. Justin Verlander has been named the Astros starter on three days of rest.
Zack Greinke‘s woes continue at Tropicana Field and Houston’s offense just couldn’t get anything going against former Astros pitcher Charlie Morton. A.J. Hinch has already announced that they will go with Justin Verlander as the starter in tomorrow afternoon’s ALDS Game 4.
Still seeking his first career victory in Tampa Bay, Greinke had his worst start as an Astro relinquishing six runs on five hits and a walk, in just 3.2 innings of work. Three of those six hits went for home runs.
After breezing through an efficient three-up, three-down first inning in just nine pitches, it all went downhill from there. With one out in the second inning, Avasial Garcia reached on a single and advanced to second on a ground out. Travis d’Arnaud then took first when hit by a pitch. Kevin Kiermaier came up to the plate and smashed a three-run homer to deep right-center.
Greinke would cede two more long balls, one each to Ji-Man Choi in the 3rd and Brandon Lowe in the fourth. Then after walking Willy Adames later that inning, Greinke’s day was done with just 61 pitches under his belt and a postseason ERA of 14.73.
Hector Rondon and Wade Miley didn’t fair much better surrendering four more runs, putting the game nearly out of reach. Joe Smith and Josh James were the only two Houston pitchers that could silence the Ray’s bats, putting up two scoreless innings.
The only runs the Astros could muster were from a solo shot by Jose Altuve in the first and a two-run single by Yuli Gurriel in the sixth scoring Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez, making the game a 9-3 uphill battle. Tampa would put together one more run in the seventh for a final score of 10-3.
A.J. Hinch is taking no chances in a short five-game postseason series. The thought was, Hinch would go with Jose Urquidy in Game 4 once Wade Miley appeared in the game today. But he has decided to go with the more sure thing in Justin Verlander, who handled the Rays well in game 1 for the victory.