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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.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.