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#pounditMonday, December 11, 2023

Howie Kendrick: ‘Crazy’ that Astros removed Zack Greinke in Game 7

Howie Kendrick

Just in case you needed more proof than the results of Game 7 to know that A.J. Hinch blew it by taking Zack Greinke out in the seventh, just listen to what Howie Kendrick said.

The 2019 World Series documentary has been released, and it includes an interview with Kendrick. Kendrick was coming to the plate when Houston removed Greinke and replaced him with reliever Will Smith. Kendrick hit a 2-run home run off Smith to give the Nationals a 3-2 lead and completely change the game. They went on to win 6-2.

In the World Series documentary, Kendrick said “it’s kind of crazy to me that they took [Greinke] out of the game.” Kendrick’s reaction to Greinke being removed was “yesss.”

Not only was taking Greinke out a poor tactical move considering how well he had been pitching, but Kendrick’s comments point to another factor regarding the move: psychological.

Just taking out a guy who really had Washington’s number that game gave the Nats a big mental boost. Once he was out, they suddenly felt relieved and some confidence. That was no doubt a big factor in them running away with the game.

We already called out Hinch for blowing the World Series with that move. Kendrick’s comments are further proof of the gravity of the error.


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