“There are a lot of disappointing changes in baseball,” says the late, great, ML geek pitcher.
Major League Baseball’s “nerd pitcher” Zack Greinke (40, Kansas City Royals) was excited for a moment. He jumped at the chance to pick up a bat and step into the batter’s box.
Greinke made his first start of the season on July 7 against the Philadelphia Phillies, giving up five runs on seven hits (two home runs) in four innings while striking out four and walking one. His ERA increased from 5.32 to 5.53.
He has lost his last eight starts, dating back to May 20 against the Chicago White Sox, tying him with teammate Jordan Lyles for the most losses in the American League (AL). The Reds are 36-77 (.319 winning percentage) and last in the American League Central, but Gronkie’s arm hasn’t been the same since he got over the hump. It’s a rough end to the career for the 224-win pitcher, who is expected to retire after this season.
But there was one moment in the game that gave Greinke a bit of a thrill. Catcher Salvador Perez went down with an injury in the second inning after being hit in the left hand by a pitch, and No. 7 designated hitter Freddy Fermin donned a catcher’s mask, allowing Greinke to pinch-hit for Perez in the third.
Greinke’s turn at the plate came in the fourth inning, when Kansas City trailed 4-5. With two outs and one on, Greinke put on his helmet and swung his bat in the dugout, preparing to hit, but the inning ended when MJ Melendez grounded out to first base.
After removing his helmet and batting glove, Greinke returned to the mound and pitched through the fourth inning before being removed. After only 59 pitches, pinch-hitter Edward Olivares stepped up to bat for Greinke in the fifth inning.
According to MLB.com, Kansas City manager Matt Quatraro said, “It was a one-run game. “It was a one-run game and we had to use our pinch-hitters and create scoring opportunities, and Greinke understood. I would have liked to have seen him get a hit, but we had to take advantage of the opportunity to win,” Quatraro said of the decision to remove Greinke.
Greinke ranks third among active pitchers with nine career home runs. His nine career stolen bases are second among active pitchers, behind only Greg Maddux. Despite being a pitcher, Greinke loves to hit and run, but he hasn’t been able to get on base as much since the National League introduced the designated hitter last year.
“I was excited to get a hit after a long time,” said Greinke, whose last at-bat came in September 2019 with the Houston Astros. “All the changes in baseball over the years have been frustrating for me. If the defensive shift had continued today, I could have gotten a couple more outs. I could have gotten up to bat and gotten a hit. There are a lot of changes that are really disappointing.”안전놀이터
Under Commissioner Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball has been in a constant state of flux, changing many of the rules of the game in an effort to speed up the game and make it more exciting. The use of designated hitters in both leagues has eliminated opportunities for pitchers to hit, and full fielding shifts were banned this year. Gronkie, a veteran pitcher who made his debut in 2004 and is now in his 20th year, still doesn’t like the changes.