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Shaky Zack Greinke walks three, allows one run in first inning of ALCS Game 4

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Astros starter Zack Greinke didn’t have his best stuff in the first inning of ALCS Game 4 against the Yankees in the Bronx. The right-hander walked DJ LeMahieu to open the inning. Aaron Judge lined out, Aaron Hicks blooped a single into shallow right-center, and Gleyber Torres popped out, revealing light at the end of the tunnel for the Astros. However, Greinke proceeded to issue back-to-back walks to Edwin Encarnación and Brett Gardner, forcing in a run to open the scoring. Greinke rebounded, striking out Gary Sánchez on three pitches to escape trouble.

It was a 28-pitch first inning for Greinke, of which only 13 were strikes. If you’re the Astros, it’s not what you want. All things considered, though, it could have been a lot worse.

Greinke has not been his best self in the postseason, entering Thursday night’s start with a career 4.58 ERA in October. In his two previous starts this postseason, he allowed six runs in 3 2/3 innings to the Rays in Game 3 of the ALDS, and three runs in six innings to the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS.

Update: George Springer gave the Astros a 3-1 lead in the third inning with a three-run home run off of Masahiro Tanaka.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.