Houston Astros right-hander Zack Greinke became the first pitcher to record a pinch hit in the World Series since 1923 as part of the Astros' Game 5 win on Sunday night. Greinke was asked by manager Dusty Baker to pinch-hit for Yimi Garcia during the fourth inning of the must-win game for the Astros.
He answered the call by lacing a single to right field off Atlanta Braves reliever Jesse Chavez. It wasn't a cheapie, either. According to Statcast, Greinke's hit had an exit velocity of 105.9 mph, making it the hardest hit ball of the night for the Astros to that point in the game.
Here's a look:
Earlier on Sunday, our Mike Axisa laid out why Game 5 could be the final game in baseball history without a designated hitter:
Game 5 could very well be the last game without the designated hitter in baseball history. The collective bargaining agreement expires Dec. 1 and the next agreement is widely expected to implement the universal DH. MLB used the universal DH during the shortened pandemic season in 2020. The wheels are now in motion to make it permanent.
If that's the case then Greinke, who had previously notched a single as part of his Game 4 start, represents a fitting face to the end of pitchers hitting. As Axisa noted, Greinke is "arguably the best hitting pitcher of the last 10 years or so (he's a .239/.280/.345 hitter since 2013)."
For those wondering, the last pitcher to record a pinch hit during the World Series was Jack Bentley in 1923, per Jayson Stark of The Athletic. Bentley actually recorded a pair of pinch hits as a member of the New York Giants. (The Giants would lose the series in six games to the New York Yankees.)
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