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Is Zack Greinke Throwing Too Hard?

Before Game 3 of the ALDS, Zack Greinke answered eight questions in just 67 words. The former Cy Young winner would soon be starting his 12th career postseason game. Earlier in the season, Greinke had been the main piece in the biggest deal of the deadline, joining the Astros and making them almost unanimously the best team in the league. Fifteen of the 32 FanGraphs writers who made a prediction on the World Series winner chose Houston. On July 30th, the Astros had a 24% chance of winning the World Series. On July 31st, that number had increased to 26.4%. To put that in perspective, the Nationals had a 4.7% chance.

However, Greinke will be the first to tell you that with success and high expectations comes media attention. Greinke had gone from an overperforming and small-market Arizona Diamondbacks team to an absolutely stacked Astros team. Houston was “World Series or bust,” especially now that they had sacrificed some of their future for Greinke. Before Game 3, the media crowded around Greinke to try to get answers and information about the big game. He did not oblige. They got eight answers but not much information from any of them.

One of those answers stated that the game was just a normal game. However, for Greinke, his performance was anything but normal. During that contest, Greinke would surrender six runs in 3.2 innings. Greinke’s mental ability to deal with a postseason game and the pressure that comes with it was questioned and became a major storyline due to the interview. In Game 1 of the ALCS, Greinke gave up three runs in six innings, which isn’t bad considering the Yankees lineup. However, for Zack Greinke, it is disappointing, frustrating, and it continues a recent narrative that he cannot handle the postseason. The postseason comes with a lot of added pressure and adrenaline, which can sometimes cause pitchers to throw harder. However, this is not always a good thing, as we have seen this year with Greinke. Read the rest of this entry »