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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.

Scott Boras to pay salaries of released minor league clients

Scott Boras
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Across the league, scores of minor leaguers have been released in recent days. Already overworked and underpaid, these players are now left without any kind of reliable income during a pandemic, and during a time of civil unrest.

Jon Heyman reports that agent Scott Boras will pay the salaries of his minor league clients who were among those released. It’s a great and much-needed gesture. Boras described the releases as “completely unanticipated.”

Boras, of course, is perhaps the most successful sports agent of all time, so he and his company can afford to do this. That being said, it should be incumbent on the players’ teams — not their agents or their teammates — to take care of them in a time of crisis. Boras is, effectively, subsidizing the billionaire owners’ thriftiness.