Astros pitcher Zack Greinke is one of the more unique personalities in baseball, and that doesn’t just apply to how he handles himself off the field. Several times this season, Greinke has signaled his pitches to the batter — basically taking the guessing game away from the hitter.

It was fun — albeit bizarre — to see during the season. Some saw it as Greinke’s response to the Astros cheating scandal.

But no coach would advise Greinke to signal his pitches to the opposing hitter during a postseason game. The stakes are just too high.

Well, many fans thought Greinke went ahead and did so to Ramon Laureano during Thursday’s ALDS Game 4 matchup with the A’s. It did not go well.

With two runners on in the second inning, Greinke appeared to signal a breaking pitch — or two fingers — to Laureano (or catcher Martin Maldonado) and proceeded to throw an 85 mph slider.

Laureano went on to hit a long home run beyond the left-center field wall. And, sure, Laureano probably would have driven a middle-middle breaking ball regardless. But it certainly didn’t help Greinke’s cause to let the hitter know to sit back on a breaking pitch if that was what actually happened.

Former MLB pitcher Brandon McCarthy suggested that Greinke was likely going through pitch sequences and not calling his actual pitch to Laureano because that would be madness.

But, again, Greinke isn’t your typical pitcher. And back in August, Greinke explained that he likes to throw out signs that are different pitches. Via the Houston Chronicle:

Greinke said he only gives away his signs when runners are aboard. He likes to work fast. Shaking off Maldonado and going to a new set of signs could take too long. …

“I don’t like taking a long time with a man on second base, especially,” Greinke said. “I’m trying to find ways to speed that up. So far this year has been good, but it got messed up today.” …

“Sometimes I call the same pitch that I throw,” Greinke said. “Most of the time it’s not the same pitch.”

So, it could have just been an unfortunate coincidence that a breaking ball followed an unintentional signal for one. Or … he actually was communicating with Maldonado about his pitch selection in plain sight. Either way, you can’t be doing that in the postseason, Zack.

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