Home History books Zack Greinke cements his place in the history books

Zack Greinke cements his place in the history books


It was a matter of time. The Universal Designated Hitter is coming to baseball as MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says the two sides have agreed to his implementation. Whether or not that is the case remains to be seen, but the DH is coming to the National League. With that announcement, Houston Astros pitcher Zack Greinke likely cemented his place in history.

Fast forward to Game 5 of the 2021 World Series. Greinke was sent to the plate in the fourth inning as a pinch hitter, which seemed like a peculiar call at the time. However, he had a hit, his second of the World Series, proving Dusty Baker right in the situation.

Zack Greinke makes history with Houston Astros

With this base hit, Greinke will now be the answer to a trivial baseball question. He was the last traditional pitcher to get a hit before Universal DH, and may well be the last pitcher to get a hit in MLB history.

This designation should carry the caveat of a traditional pitcher. Shohei Ohtani may also be a pitcher, but he also serves as the Angels’ primary DH. It’s unfair to group him with the Greinkes of the baseball world.

He’s been a pretty solid hitter in the majors, especially for a pitcher. A two-time Silver Slugger, he produced a .225/.262/.336 batting line in his 600 plate appearances, hitting nine home runs and 29 doubles while stealing nine bases. This success should come as no big surprise given that Greinke had considered becoming a shortstop and ending his career on the mound during the height of his battles with anxiety.

But the Greinke of the world are a dying breed. The game has changed, with much more emphasis on circuits than sacrificed cavities and manufacturing cycles. Although he is capable of getting a hit when he comes to the plate, Greinke is also one of the few pitchers who can make such a claim.

Zack Greinke made history by getting a hit for the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the World Series. It’s just that nobody realized it at the time.