Eephus king Greinke breaks new ground

April 13th, 2021

has made us scratch our heads before, both from the mound and away from it, but the Astros righty reached new heights (or lows?) in Monday night during a 6-2 loss to the Tigers.

Perhaps frustrated after giving up three home runs and with his team trailing, 4-0, in the top of the fifth inning, Greinke tried something new on Renato Núñez: a 51.5 mph pitch.

Greinke's eephus, his slowest pitch in the tracking era (since 2008) that wasn't an intentional ball, went for a called strike to even the count at 1-1. Greinke got Núñez to ground out weakly two pitches later, but he wouldn't finish the inning, ultimately exiting with six runs allowed -- tied for his most since he joined the Astros in July 2019.

"He really got me on that," Núñez said. "I wasn't expecting that. One of the guys told me earlier that he has that pitch, and it was, 'Hey, get ready for that pitch, then hit a homer.' And I was like, 'OK, if he throws that.' But I didn't [swing].

"I mean, it was way too slow. I will see if he throws me that one next time. Maybe I'm going to swing hard and hit it."

Núñez wasn't too upset about losing that battle, given that he homered two innings earlier on a slider. That pitch was thrown 30 mph faster than the eephus.