Nationals

Greinke showing set of signals backfires as Laureano homers off him

Nationals

Houston Astros starter Zack Greinke is one of the most interesting people in baseball. He’s never been one to give juicy quotes to the media or show much emotion on the field, but stories have trickled out over the years about just how much of a competitor the right-hander can be.

One of the most recent examples of that is Greinke signaling to his catcher from the mound while facing the San Francisco Giants in August. Despite the opposing hitter standing in the batter’s box, Greinke held up two fingers to his catcher before throwing a slider. The result? Swing and miss.

Greinke tried the stunt once again Thursday, this time in Game 4 of the Astros’ ALDS series against the Oakland Athletics. This time it was A’s centerfielder Ramón Laureano standing in the box. Greinke held up two fingers and fired a curveball, but this time the hitter was ready.

Laureano was all over the pitch, clobbering the ball for a three-run homer to put Oakland ahead in the second inning. The move is Greinke’s attempt to change up the signs with runners on base, but it backfired in a pivotal point to put Houston in an early hole. Some fellow pitchers clarified on Twitter that he wasn't showing Laureano what pitch he was throwing.

The Astros led the series 2-1 going into play Thursday.