Video: Watch Astros' Zack Greinke Throw 51 MPH Pitch to Tigers' Renato Nunez

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 13, 2021

Houston Astros starting pitcher Zack Greinke takes a moment on the mound with the bases loaded during the first inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers Monday, April 12, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Michael Wyke/Associated Press

There are curveballs, and then there is the pitch Zack Greinke pulled out of his bag of tricks Monday night.

The Houston Astros starter threw a 51 mph floater to Detroit Tigers first baseman Renato Nunez in the fifth inning—a velocity Nunez probably hadn't encountered since he was a kid:

MLB Stats @MLBStats

Zack Greinke's 51.5 MPH pitch is his slowest tracked pitch (since 2008) not on an IBB. https://t.co/gTdfRuZ7pC

The power of such a pitch is twofold:

  1. The batter never sees it coming. Nobody throws that slowly in MLB.
  2. The hitter is trained to react in a split second. The eephus destroys any and all calibrations.

Try it too many times, however, and you'll pay.

The only option left for Greinke is to double down on the lack of speed and to lob the ball to the plate underhanded, Rookie of the Year style. How slow can he go?