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Game 6 Thread. April 6, 2021, 3:07 CDT. Astros @ Angels

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Let’s head home on a winning note.

MLB: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

If we had a poll as to who was must-see-TV on the Astros, I’d bet it would be Yordan at the plate. But for me, my favorite thing to watch is Zack Greinke pitch.

Realistically, a guy throwing 88 mph fastballs shouldn’t still be in the major leagues right now. Or the minors. He probably wouldn’t even be drafted coming out of college. How does he do it?

The sabremetric data on Greinke’s first start looked decidedly mediocre.

And yet he threw six innings of shutout ball, and only allowed three baserunners on three hits.

The movement on his pitches is not special, except, as Dan 410 pointed out earlier this week, he has gotten the vertical movement on his slider into + territory, an improvement over 2020.

But of course, a slow slider drops more than a fast one, and out of the 12 he threw on Opening Day, they had a combined xWOBA of .310, and an average Exit Velocity of 101.7.

Batters hit him, but they don’t seem to quite square it up very often, at least as often as you might expect. What is it?

What it is is why I like to watch Greinke. He isn’t just pitching, he’s playing chess. Three-dimensional chess. I love to see what he’s going to do next to outwit the hitter. He’s like a cat playing with a mouse. But his sharp claws are no longer his velocity, it’s the razor-sharp command of his extensive pitch repertoire. Batters can expect a ball in the strike zone, but not in the same place twice, and not coming at the zone at the same speed or trajectory.

Zack leaves batters either just a little off-balance or completely baffled. I guess all pitchers try to do this, but Zack is the absolute mastermind of pitchers.

I love his Mona Lisa smile when he pitches. Like he knows stuff no one else knows.

Of course, if he happens to make a mistake on an 88 MPH fastball or 81 MPH slider, he might have to pay. But I still love to watch Zack Greinke.

The Astros got beat yesterday. That wasn’t supposed to happen. Hopefully, that wasn't a preview of our bullpen this year. Did anyone wish Steve Cishek was wearing an Astros uniform yesterday?

Here’s the lineup. Brantley is still out with a sore wrist. Oh yeah, the Angels’ Opening Day starter, Dylan Bundy was a late addition to the Angels lineup.

Jose Altuve ....................................................2B

Yuli Gurriel......................................................1B

Alex Bregman.................................................3b

Yordan Alvarez...............................................DH

Carlos Correa.................................................SS

Kyle Tucker.....................................................RF

Aledmys Diaz.................................................LF

Myles Straw...................................................CF

Martin Maldonado........................................C

Media Access

Game 2: Tuesday, April 6th @ 3:07 pm CDT

Listen: Astros - KLAT 1010, KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2 / Angels KLAA 830

Watch: Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW / Angels - Bally Sports West / MLB Network (out-of-market only)