(SportsRadio 610) -- If you thought maybe Zack Greinke wasn’t upset about being pulled in the seventh inning in Game 7 of last year’s World Series, think again.
You know how that story goes.
Greinke, the Astros’ major trade deadline acquisition last year, had put in the team’s most efficient outing of the postseason through most of his 6 ⅓ innings, before giving up a one-out home run to Anthony Rendon.
He was pulled for Will Harris, who promptly gave up the game-defining home run to Howie Kendrick. This, despite an otherwise good performance by Greinke and stud Gerrit Cole warming up in the bullpen.
That wasn’t the story on Wednesday, with the Astros facing elimination against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS.
Greinke was effective through six innings, and said it felt good to have manager Dusty Baker leave him in through the sixth. Greinke struck out seven, walked just one and gave up two runs on five hits and a homer.
When there were runners at first and second with one out in the sixth, Baker took a mound visit to check on his pitcher. Catcher Martin Maldonado assured Baker that Greinke could retire Randy Arozarena, possibly the hottest hitter this postseason.
Baker left him in, and Greinke struck Arozarena out swinging.
“It was nice having someone have confidence in me,” Greinke said. “Since I’ve been here, they haven’t seemed to have confidence in my ability. So, it was nice having that happen in an important time like that.”
When asked if he was referring to Game 7 of the World Series, from which many Astros fans wonder “what if,” Greinke said that was just one of many examples.
Greinke said he’s been impressed with how well Baker reads people.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him make a wrong decision when he trusts what he sees,” Greinke said. “I think he sees the right thing almost 100 percent of the time.”
Wonder how Greinke must feel about A.J. Hinch.