Could Astros tab Greinke for ALCS Game 4?

October 18th, 2021

BOSTON -- The Astros could turn to veteran right-hander to start Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday at Fenway Park. Astros manager Dusty Baker was hoping to start Jake Odorizzi in Game 4, but Odorizzi was tasked with throwing four innings in relief of Luis Garcia in Game 2, which takes him out of the running for Game 4.

Baker said Sunday that the Astros have four options to start Game 4, though he didn’t specify them. They would certainly include Greinke. He’s pitched only one inning so far in the playoffs, entering in relief in Game 3 of the AL Division Series in Chicago a week ago. Greinke hasn’t started a game since throwing four innings on Sept. 19 against the D-backs, so he’s not stretched out to work deep into a game.

“You don't want to just tell everybody -- and especially in our position, you don't want to tell them everything -- so we got a few options,” Baker said. “We got some plans, but a lot of it depends on Game 3.”

Greinke missed time in September with a positive COVID-19 test and another IL stint with neck soreness, which hampered his ability to build up his strength before the end of the season, so he was moved to the bullpen. He made his first relief appearance since 2007 in the regular-season finale on Oct. 3 and allowed two runs in 2 1/3 innings.

Greinke has made eight career postseason starts for the Astros, who acquired him at the Trade Deadline in 2019 from Arizona. Most notably, he started Game 7 of the '19 World Series against Washington and carried a shutout into the seventh inning before the Nationals rallied to win.