Houston Astros right-hander Zack Greinke made his fourth start of the season on Wednesday night against the San Francisco Giants. Greinke delivered his second consecutive quality start, but that isn't what anyone is going to remember from this outing. Rather, folks will recall Greinke telling the Giants what pitches were coming -- and getting them to swing and miss anyway.
Throughout Greinke's start, it appeared that he was calling out signs and signaling his pitches to his catcher. Because the stadium was empty, and because he wasn't particularly subtle, that meant letting the opposition know what was coming as well. Take a look at a few examples.
Here's Greinke outlining the signs:
And here's Greinke motioning with two fingers, the way catchers tend to for breaking balls, before coercing a whiff on his slider:
Whether or not Greinke was conducting a social experiment on how much (or little) knowing what's coming matters is anyone's guess. Clearly he was able to make it work for himself, and that's all that really matters at the end of the night.
The Astros, meanwhile, made their bats work for Greinke, too. Houston plated fived runs against what amounted to a bullpen day for the Giants. Catcher Martin Maldonado served as the Astros' offensive star, as he delivered a three-run home run in the sixth inning. (Houston second baseman Jose Altuve, who has struggled so far this season, had the night off in deference to Abraham Toro-Hernandez.)
Greinke now has thrown 21 ⅓ innings on the season. He has a 2.53 ERA to show for his work, along with 18 strikeouts, four walks, and 19 hits. Assuming he starts on a normal schedule, his next outing will come on Tuesday, August 18 at home against the Colorado Rockies.