Zack Greinke wowed everyone with increased velocity: 'We don't understand it'

By , Audacy Sports

When Zack Greinke wants to throw a 51.5 mph eephus pitch, he'll do just that. Few pitchers randomly whip out these baffling pitches without hesitation, but Greinke is far from your average hurler, and he's had random success every now and again by tossing his sub-60 mph stuff.

But that's not exactly a hard pitch to execute, or so you wouldn't think it is. Sure, you've got to put a little bit of downward movement on it, but it's really just a lob. It seems to be that anyone could do it, theoretically. What pitchers typically can't do, however, is what Greinke decided to do on Wednesday night.

In 2020, Greinke's average fastball speed was 87.1 mph, according to FanGraphs, and that high-80s range is what we're used to seeing at this point in the brilliant career of the 18-year veteran. For some reason, though, something changed about Greinke's approach in his most recent outing against the Oakland A's. As Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle noted, only 48 of Greinke's 826 pitches of the 2021 season entering Wednesday had exceeded 90 mph. But against Oakland, Greinke threw 26 of his 89 pitches over that speed. And, boy, did it pay off.

How did he just decide to do that? He described his strategy with an in-depth explanation as to how he altered his approach in a significant way and thoroughly took us through his process of upping his velocity... just kidding.

"I was trying to throw a little harder today, but then it ended up being a lot harder," Greinke said (via Rome).

Ah, that explains it! But it wasn't just his extra effort that led to the extra oomph on his heaters. Greinke also said that the wind may have helped him out... seriously.

Still don't understand how Greinke upped his velocity so significantly for one night? That's okay. Neither does Astros manager Dusty Baker.

"We don't understand it," Baker said (via Mark Berman of Fox 26 KRIV). "I don't know if he understands it. He shocked us with a couple of 92s, 93s. He said the wind helped him. He was probably joking. He has that same look on his face all the time. He came in and had a couple smiles."

But do we have to understand it? Nah. That's part of the reason why Greinke is such a beloved icon in baseball and is a fan favorite wherever he goes. He does his thing — be it in the 50-, 70-, or 90-mph range — and he usually does it pretty darn well.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)