In 2017, Zack Greinke re-established himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball.
After a rocky 2016 where Greinke posted a 4.36 ERA on the season, the ace has been key at the right moments earning the Wild Card start for the Diamondbacks.
“Last year everyone pretty much everyone underachieved,” Greinke said of 2016. “The first month I thought we didn’t pitch that bad, but the results were bad. As the season went on, it kind of just kept getting worse. This year it worked out good from the beginning, and just kind of continued.”
Greinke is no stranger to the postseason pressures. The veteran righty has four postseason appearances.
“One game I kind of remember was St. Louis in the playoffs when I was with L.A.,” Greinke said. “I think they had bases loaded and no outs, maybe, in the first inning. I was like, man, this is a bad situation, but I made good pitches going into it.
I made one mistake, if I remember right. I hit John Jay. I tried to throw a fastball in and it missed by two inches and he leaned into it. I knew going in I can’t miss off the plate in. Once I had that, I was like, trust your pitches, make your pitches. That’s all you can do. If you try to strikeout the next three guys, that’s not doing what you normally do. That was just my mindset, and that’s my mindset going into this game too.”
Greinke said that no matter what happens on Wednesday he knows he did all he could to prepare.
“I feel good going into it,” Greinke said. “All my pitches feel good. I’ll be at least knowing going in, that I did everything I can to get ready and pitch in a good situation, and hopefully it works out.”
For the Rockies, Jon Gray will be getting the start. Gray, who is 25, watched Greinke pitch growing up. Matching up with one of baseball’s best is “surreal,” he said.
“One thing I remember is he made everything look like a strike, even the off-speed,” Gray said. “Even when things weren’t going right for him, you would never see his emotions on the mound. He would get back up there and compete every single time.”