Year after year, it seems Zack Greinke finds new ways to dominate without even touching 90 miles per hour. He owns a huge repertoire and recently brought his sinker back, an old friend that he used to throw often between 2009 and 2014.
Using the Baseball Savant gamefeed tool. After taking a look at his four starts— I’ve found this trend on Greinke’s sinker.
If the 36-year-old veteran is in the middle of a good start, his sinker is one of the reasons why. He’s finished 19 at-bats with that pitch and opponents have registered only three hits (.158), all singles. Zack has not given up a walk with his sinker while striking out eight.
In fact, during his outing on Wednesday against the Giants, he recorded four of his seven punchouts using the pitch. With the only blemish being an RBI-single by Alex Dickerson in the first inning as they went 1-for-7.
Look at this beauty to strike out Dickerson at the top of the fifth inning...
In general, the righty is throwing his sinker in 25.2% of the time, more than any other pitch but the fastball (46.5%). He’s inducing 48.6 whiff percentage and a -6 launch angle. One of the best numbers you’ll find is the 44.4 PutAway% (the rate of two-strike pitches that result in a strikeout).
Greinke is successfully throwing the sinker despite nearly a 10 mph reduction compared to 2010(94.2 MPH). This year he’s averaging 85.9 MPH and, believe it or not, this time he’s getting the results he wants.
Just take a look at this gorgeous graphic on his Swing & Miss rate with that pitch. He never made opponents look that foolish, even when he threw it at 94 MPH:
Greinke is throwing five pitches this year, though he’s mostly going with the four-seam fastball, the slider, and the sinker. At 36, this delivery might be what helps him stay around for a few more years at a very competitive level.