Houston Astros: Zack Greinke will have most important start of his career

Houston Astros pitcher Zack Greinke (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Houston Astros pitcher Zack Greinke (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Houston Astros pitcher Zack Greinke will get the game ball in tonight’s Game 7, the finale to the World Series. Why is this start so important? Look.

The Houston Astros should be all revved up about playing the final game of the World Series, fighting for all of the marbles in a decisive Game 7.  We all wish these guys would’ve closed things out last night but that’s why you have to play the games, the Washington Nationals are a world-class team and they’ve been sticking it to them as if they belong in the conversation to secure a world championship.

And rightfully so.

Will things pan out that way?  We’re about to find out tonight as it’s anybody’s ballgame and it’s a matter of who brings their “A” game to the utmost to try to get the goal of being the last team standing among the rubble of destruction while doing battle along the way.

It will be up to George Springer and Jose Altuve to set the tone for the offense while Zack Greinke will have to set a precedent in terms of ensuring that the runs are minimized by the Nats.

Let’s hope that Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa and even Yordan Alvarez can sneak in some RBIs/homers as well as extra-base hits to do all that it takes to help this team win.

But back to Greinke…

Did you know that Zack has never pitched in a Game 7 in his postseason resume regardless of the round?  It’s true and it will be a first for him.

He has a 1-1 record in elimination games in his postseason history.  Those were derived from Game

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5 of the 2013 NLCS against the Cardinals when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Game 5 of the 2015 NLDS when the Dodgers faced the New York Mets.

He won in 2013 but lost in 2015 but averaged a 2.93 ERA and allowing just five earned runs, which would be three and two respectively.

So to say his record is pretty darn good when it comes to elimination games is an understatement.  But he’s never had the opportunity to pitch in such a high-pressure moment, where his performance could have a ripple effect on the outcome of tonight’s Game 7.

Although Greinke didn’t get the decision, he still had a solid outing this past Friday in Game 3, were he had six punch-outs, one earned run and three walks through 4.2 innings of work.

I’d expect the same type of workload for him tonight but if he’s feeling it, AJ Hinch might keep him in longer.  Hell, Gerrit Cole may be available to get some outs if his services are needed.

It’s definitely something that we’ll be watching yet possibly anticipating.

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I honestly think Greinke is up to the task as this is the exact reason why the Houston Astros traded for him, to help them get over the hump in the postseason.  The time is his and he’s going to make the most of it.

Let’s get this done — go Houston Astros!