The mystic mind of Zack Greinke during his time with Arizona

Jun 11, 2023, 6:50 PM | Updated: Jun 12, 2023, 8:43 am

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 28: Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks makes a pitch during the game aga...

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 28: Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks makes a pitch during the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on June 28, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

When RHP Zack Greinke retires from Major League Baseball, he will undoubtedly go down as one of the generation’s best players.

Fans of the Arizona Diamondbacks and baseball know that Greinke has occasionally shied away from his spotlight with the media.

His intrinsic personality has shown off the field many times, but when fans get to peak inside that brain while he is on the field is quite the treat.

The Athletic’s Rustin Dodd and Jayson Jenks ranked the top 10 Greinke stories and gave a peek into why he’s one-of-a-kind.

Greinke had mentioned that Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto had the best eye in baseball and was always one of the toughest outs for the pitcher across the league.

Years ago Greinke and Arizona catcher Jeff Mathis were going through the game plan against the Cincinnati Reds’ lineup. But when they got to first baseman Joey Votto, Mathis could tell Greinke didn’t have an answer. Votto, himself a cerebral iconoclast, possesses one of the best eyes in baseball and an appreciation for Greinke. …

Greinke was stumped. Then, boom, it hit him: He was going to throw Votto a hanging slider in the middle of the strike zone.

‘Uuuuuhhh, I don’t really know,’ Mathis said. ‘But if you want to do this, I’m not going to argue.’

Greinke threw a slider that spun aimlessly across the top of the zone. Votto took it for a strike. Greinke threw another cement mixer at the belt. Votto took it again.

‘He steps out and kind of does his Joey Votto look around like, what the expletive was that,” Mathis said.

It is hard to imagine any other pitcher in baseball attempting this strategy to any batter, let alone an all-time great such as Votto. But again, to D-backs fans this is just another piece of the enigma that is Greinke.

Greinke was known for always keeping his language kid-friendly, to the point where former relief pitcher Archie Bradley only heard him curse once.

The former Arizona ace had the ability to recognize if the pitch was going to be good “the millisecond the ball left his fingertips.”

Greinke used his friendly language to his ability, yelling expletives or “dang it” to make the batter think it was a bad pitch.

When Diamondbacks manager Torey Luvullo visited Greinke on the mound to gauge how he felt about the next hitter, Greinke wouldn’t give a yes or no answer — he’d give a specific, honest percentage.

“He’d say: ‘I’m like 60 percent positive I can get this guy,’” Bradley said.

His feel shows up in other unorthodox ways.

“Zack would throw what he thinks is the perfect pitch and the guy doesn’t swing at it,” Bradley said. “And in the middle of the at-bat, Zack will ask him: ‘How did you take that?’”

Greinke has been playing baseball his way and effectively doing so. Whether it was a hanging slider, an arching eephus or disusing pitches through language, he was always one step ahead.

Over his career, he has posted a 224-147 record, 3.45 ERA, 1.116 WHIP, 2,932 strikeouts, 3.48 FIP and 8.0 strikeouts per nine in 3,313.2 innings pitched.

Additionally, he has won one Cy Young, six Gold Gloves and two Silver Slugger awards,


New York Giants fans, Arizona Cardinals fans...

Haboob Blog

The Giants were outscored 60-0 to begin the season vs. Cowboys, Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals kept pace with the Dallas Cowboys in scoring a lot and allowing no points by the New York Giants.

4 days ago

NFL referee, official...

Haboob Blog

‘I’m talking to America here:’ NFL referee would not be interrupted in Seahawks-Lions

Lead referee Alex Kemp would not hear it from Seattle quarterback Geno Smith while on the mic during Seahawks-Lions.

4 days ago

(Twitter screenshot/@DanSpindleKSL)...

Haboob Blog

Arizona State graphic appears during Arizona Wildcats broadcast on Pac-12 Network

An Arizona State graphic was displayed instead of an Arizona graphic during the Arizona-UTEP game on the Pac-12 Network.

5 days ago

YouTube still photo...

Haboob Blog

Cardinals rookie Owen Pappoe grilled in interview by grade schoolers

Arizona Cardinals rookie Owen Pappoe was pranked by walking into an interview room with 7-year-olds, which produced hilarious results. 

5 days ago

Joakim Noah...

Arizona Sports

Joakim Noah explains the viral Devin Booker ‘double-team’ video

Joakim Noah said his back-and-forth with Devin Booker over a double team in a 2019 pickup game was overblown.

6 days ago

Free drinks if Jets lose...

Associated Press

Packers fans’ emotions turn after bar’s offer to pay tabs dissolves with Jets win

Milwaukee bar patrons who hoped to score free drinks if the Jets former Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers lost had to pay up.

8 days ago

The mystic mind of Zack Greinke during his time with Arizona