Zack Greinke: 'It's Kind of Boring' Waiting Between Innings for Astros Offense

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2019

Houston Astros starting pitcher Zack Greinke delivers during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Veteran starting pitcher Zack Greinke benefited from the Houston Astros' high-scoring offense during his team debut Tuesday, but he noted that such significant run support comes with a challenge. 

According to ESPN, Greinke commented on the long waits he had to endure against the Colorado Rockies during Houston's offensive onslaught of 13 hits and 11 runs in an 11-6 victory at Minute Maid Park: "Yeah, it's kind of boring. And just trying to stay loose, staying focused [when] not having anything to do."

Greinke allowed seven hits, two walks and five earned runs while striking out only two over six innings but was credited with the win.

Houston acquired the 35-year-old Greinke from the Arizona Diamondbacks at last Wednesday's trade deadline in exchange for prospects Corbin Martin, J.B. Bukauskas, Seth Beer and Joshua Rojas.

In Houston, Greinke is likely to have a consistent boost in run support. The D-backs are tied for eighth in MLB with 594 runs scored and are ninth in batting average at .259, while the Astros are sixth in runs scored (606) and second in batting average (.272).

While staying sharp after a long stay in the dugout isn't always easy, Greinke did note that watching his teammates light up the scoreboard was enjoyable: "I was telling Maldy [catcher Martin Maldonado] that it kind of reminds me of back when I was in Milwaukee, it seemed like we scored like 10 runs a game. So it's a good offense, and it's fun to pitch with that going on."

Greinke was named an All-Star for the sixth time this season, and he was among the top starting pitchers in baseball prior to the trade from Arizona.

In 24 starts this year, the right-hander is 11-4 with a 3.08 ERA and 0.97 WHIP to go along with 137 strikeouts over 152 innings.

Prior to acquiring Greinke, the Astros were arguably the top team in the American League, but they solidified their status as a World Series favorite by trading for him. At 74-40, they hold a nine-game lead over the Oakland Athletics in the AL West, and they are just a half-game behind the New York Yankees for the best record in the Junior Circuit.

With a starting pitching quartet of Greinke, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley, as well as perhaps the most talented lineup in baseball, the Astros are strong candidates to reach the American League Championship Series for the third year in a row and to win the World Series for the second time in three seasons.