In last night’s Tigers-Yankees game we saw both managers turn to top-of-the-rotation starters in relief roles and Zack Greinke may join the fun tonight.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com that “Zack would be available and not just if [Yovani Gallardo] isn’t pitching well.”
Greinke threw just 86 pitches in his Game 2 start Sunday, so the fact that he’d be pitching on full rest and a modest recent workload means he might even be available for multiple innings.
Greinke hasn’t made a relief appearance since 2007, but he was dominant out of the Royals’ bullpen that season with a 3.54 ERA and 55/15 K/BB ratio in 53 innings spread over 38 appearances.
It has been evident throughout the playoffs that Astros second baseman José Altuve’s right knee is bothering him. Altuve battled a right knee issue in July, then banged it up again in Game 2 of the ALDS and it’s been a problem ever since.
Manager A.J. Hinch said that if it were the regular season, he wouldn’t put Altuve in the lineup. Per MLB.com’s Richard Justice, the full quote:
He’s hurt. And if it was any other time of the year, he wouldn’t be in the lineup or wouldn’t be playing. He’d probably be on the DL. … But he’s showing up every day in good spirits, ready to go, giving 100 percent of what he’s got. He should be commended.
Hinch also said of Altuve, “His teammates revere him. The production that he’s doing on one leg is pretty incredible. And he’s trying not to talk about it. And therefore I am.”
During the ALCS, Altuve has hit .250/.368/.313 in 16 at-bats. He has just one extra-base hit but he has racked up three singles and drawn three walks while scoring four runs. Hinch has had Marwin González start at second base Games 3 and 4 and is doing so again on Thursday night in Game 5.