Astros manager Dusty Baker was ready to trade starter Zack Greinke on the mound after allowing back-to-back hits with one out and a 4-2 score for Houston in the sixth inning of a Series life or death game. of the American League Championship.
Baker walked up the hill to ask the veteran right-hander for the ball until the Puerto Rican catcher Martín “Machete” Maldonado he stepped in to propose to the experienced mentor that Greinke finish the entry.
Baker agreed to Maldonado’s proposal. Next, Greinke struck out Randy Arozarena, the Rays’ hottest bat. Ji-Man Choi hit a single to load the bases but Greinke rallied to fan Mike Brosseau to a 3-2 count to end the threat in the sixth on his way to a 4-3 win, a win that forced a fifth game in the series that Tampa Bay now dominates 3-1.
After the strikeout, Maldonado effusively celebrated the exit from the quagmire on the way to the dugout.
After the game, Greinke appreciated the confidence received by the Puerto Rican winner of the Gold Glove award in the AL in 2017.
“Maldy (Maldonado) said that I looked good and that I could get out of this”, said the pitcher at a press conference.
“Like I said, it’s good that your teammates trust me. It’s good. He knew it was an important moment in the game and it was also a difficult part of his lineup that he had to face. And it worked. If it didn’t work, things would be different. It worked and I felt good in every way, ”he added.
Baker also highlighted Maldonado’s motivational words for deciding to leave Greinke in the game.
“Maldy was adamant about, ‘He can get this guy out.’ I said ‘OK, let’s do it.’ This is the victory decision right here. It was more of an old school decision, to do the right thing that I thought was right. And we went ahead, “he said.
The Astros will bet Maldonado guides starting rookie Luis Garcia in Houston’s life or death fifth game tonight.
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