October 03, 2011
Let's just say the results were hilariously awkward.
Greinke loves to hit — he actually prefers hitting to pitching — so when he lined a sharp single to left field against Arizona's Daniel Hudson(notes) in the fourth inning, he did like the Romans would in Rome. He turned toward the Brewers dugout and made a Beast Mode gesture with his hands.
RAWR, right? Well, not quite. It looked a lot more like air quotes than a ferocious wild animal. Teammates Ryan Braun(notes) and Corey Hart(notes) were questioned about it afterward, and from their takes, it was easy to tell they were highly amused at Greinke's nerdy attempt.
And then Braun chimed in with the ultimate biographical statement on Greinke:
"I don't think there's much that Zack does that's smooth or cool," Braun said. "So, we'll give him a pass for being awkward, because he lives his life awkwardly."
It's because they care.
For an indication of how nerdy/awkward/yet completely lovable Greinke can be, check out his legendary Answer Man Q&A with The Stew from 2008. This is Greinke talking about meeting his future wife, Emily, at the high school library:
Q: I've read that you purposely put off doing your math homework just so you could go to the library where Emily worked and then did the work there.
ZG: I'm sure it was all sorts of homework. Math's my best subject, but you always have homework in math, so that's probably why. And, I had math right after lunchtime. First of all, lunchtime was my least favorite time in the entire world. So, when I saw her at the library, I said, "I don't want to look like a loser going to the library during lunch, but... I've got two positives. One, I hate lunch. Two, I could try to put some moves on her." A friend of mine from math class, I did the homework with her in the library and she was a friend of Emily's. As time went on, after a couple weeks of doing that, it started to turn into something. I'm real happy I did that.
He might be a professional athlete who married a beauty queen, but Greinke is hard-core nerd. The kind of guy you might find at the comic book store wiping his nose on his jacket sleeve. Or worse.
As Yahoo! Sports' own Jeff Passan noted, the Brewers are looking like the team to beat in the early stages of the NL playoffs. They're also acting the part with their Beast Mode antics. Some guys are just more naturally gifted at it than others.