During the Arizona Diamondbacks' season opener against the Colorado Rockies on Monday night, newly acquired ace Zack Greinke (making his Diamondbacks' debut) gave up two home runs to Rockies' rookie Trevor Story (making his major-league debut). Greinke, who signed a six-year, $206 million contract this offseason, was signed to be the ace for the Diamondbacks staff in 2016 and beyond. His seven earned run performance was a bit of a shock, but it has been reported that he pitched through the flu on Opening Day. Diamondbacks' fans need not be afraid; that was likely not a representative glimpse into Greinke's career in Arizona.
Greinke pitched four innings while giving up seven runs on nine hits and a walk, while only accumulating two strike outs. Three of those nine hits were home runs, and two of them were hit by Story. That particular feat—surrendering multiple home runs to the same player—hadn't happened to Greinke since June 2010, when he gave up two dingers to Joey Votto.
In his career, Greinke has given up two home runs in one game to Shawn Green, Jonny Gomes, Jason Giambi, Luke Scott, Votto, and now Story. What's the same about the first five players listed? They're all left handed batters. Trevor Story is the first right handed batter—and rookie—to complete that feat against Greinke.
Green was the first player to ever hit two home runs off Greinke in a major-league game and it happened on June 10, 2005 when Green was a member of the Diamondbacks. Greinke gave up three home runs that day in a 12-11 slug-fest ultimately won by Arizona.
Later that season, Jonny Gomes hit two home runs off Greinke in a game on July 30, 2005. That day, the then-Devil Rays beat the Royals 7-3, and Gomes hit three home runs. He also victimized KC reliever Mike MacDougal.
Jason Giambi has the most career home runs off Greinke—five—and he had his two home run game in August 2005. He hit three home runs off Greinke as a member of the New York Yankees and three as a member of the Colorado Rockies. Carlos Gonzalez, who also hit a home run for the Rockies in Monday's game, has hit four in his career off Greinke, which is good for second place.
Greinke then went from late August 2005 until May 2010 without giving up two homers to the same batter in a game. That was, until Luke Scott of the Orioles ended that streak on May 18, 2010 in a 4-3 Kansas City loss. That performance was followed by Votto's game in June 2010, and then Story's game on Monday.
While he grounded out in his first at-bat, Story only saw five pitches from Greinke in the two appearances that resulted in home runs—two pitches in the third inning and three during his at-bat in the fourth.
Story's first home run was a tie-breaking, three-run opposite field shot off a 93.4 mph fastball that hung belt high on the outside of the strike zone.
Story's second home run of the game, which came just an inning later, was a solo shot off an 85 mph slider (according to Brooks Baseball—it says changeup on the ticker in Arizona) that was middle and slightly low (right on the bottom edge of the strike zone), and it was crushed into the left field seats.
Diamondback fans shouldn't worry about their newly acquired ace. Judging by his track record in recent years, Greinke won't allow another multi-home run game to a batter until near the end of his contract in 2021. Also, he's pretty good for some other reasons.
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Stacey Gotsulias is a contributing writer of Beyond the Box Score. She also contributes to The Hardball Times and writes about the New York Yankees for It's About The Money. You can follow her on Twitter at @StaceGots.