The bats were explosive on Friday for the Houston Astros; there is no debating that. While scoring 13 runs on 16 hits, all nine starters had a hit except for Kyle Tucker, who has been the hottest Houston hitter. From Carlos Correa hitting two home runs to Martin Maldonado dropping the first grand slam for the team this season, there was a roaring thunder of bats in Buffalo against the Toronto Blue Jays.
This was the first time on the Astros have ever played in Upstate New York, but the booing and taunting didn’t benefit the “Blue Jay” fans. On the diamond, Aledmys Diaz smoked his former team and played three different positions, but the tip of the cap goes to Zack Greinke.
Zack Greinke has found a rhythm on the road, as he has solidified himself as the Astros’ ace.
From grinding his way to an 18-year career, we have seen Zack Greinke adapt and survive like no-other pitcher. The right-hander has become the bonafide ace of the staff with Cy Young candidates Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole not in the picture. Even with the depth evolving into quality arms, this is most likely Greinke’s last year with the Astros, and he’s making it count.
On Friday, the right-hander tossed a complete game with one run allowed on six hits. Greinke only fanned three hitters in the process to his one walk; defining the soft-contact pitcher’s M.O. This was the first complete game for an Astros’ pitcher since Verlander’s no-hitter in Toronto on Sep. 1, 2019; it seems fitting.
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Greinke’s complete game was done on only 102 pitches (75 strikes), while it was his first nine-inning complete game since 2016. Coming into Friday, the right-hander was 3-0 with 1.64 ERA compared to his 2-2 home-line with a 5.31 ERA. It is interesting to ponder about Greinke’s success in stadiums that have fans booing, especially for a pitcher with anxiety and depression surrounding his career. Nonetheless, Greinke is getting it done.
In his past five starts, the right-hander has a 2.37 ERA, while the Astros have won nearly a third of his starts this season alone. Greinke’s future in Houston is currently unknown, but you can never have enough arms, especially veteran ones. While having Martin Maldonado as his personal catcher, the right-hander credits him for his recent success.
The Astros are back on the field on Saturday at 2:07 p.m. with Jose Urquidy expected to start against Ross Stripling, who has publicly said he isn’t scared to throw at the Astros. In injury news, Michael Brantley’s return is expected for the next series against the Boston Red Sox starting Monday.