When you search “zack greinke’s mvp curve” on Google the first link to click on is this GameFAQs message board thread titled “Zack Greinke’s curveball in MVP Basebal 2005” which simply asks, “Seriously what the f*** is that s***?”
That’s the only way to describe it.
It’s been over ten years since the release of the greatest baseball game ever — MVP Baseball 2005 — which means it’s been ten years since we’ve all witnessed the world’s most unhittable baseball pitch, the Zack Greinke MVP curve. The sheer devastation of this outlandish rainbow allowed Greinke to be one of the most dominant yet underrated video game athletes in the history of video game athletes.
He may not be Tecmo Bo, Madden ’04 Vick, or Pablo Sanchez, but he at least deserves an honorable mention due to being the most dominant video game pitcher ever. I have scoured the internet in search of his 59 mph eephus curveball, but have come up empty-handed. I’ll try to do it justice, but I won’t be able to.
The 2005 Royals were an atrocity and the clear-cut worst team in the game. There was no sane reason to ever select this team to play with. Their best hitters were like Mike Sweeney, Matt Stairs, Angel Berroa, and Ken Harvey because he had a bunch of red spots against lefties. You would be lucky to muster up one run with these guys, but that was usually all you needed with Greinke on the mound.
In 2005, Zack Greinke was a young and highly touted Royals hurler coming off a decent rookie season in which he finished 4th in Rookie of the Year voting. While Greinke would go on to win a Cy Young Award and put together a dominant MLB career, MVP Baseball had for some reason decided to turn Greinke’s swooping 12-6 curve into the most devastating pitch in video game history.
Greinke’s 59 mph eephus curve would legitimately travel off the f*cking screen. You couldn’t even see it for most of the sequence. Then all of sudden, there it was dropping into the strike zone. If you didn’t swing, it was probably a strike. If you did swing, you were lucky to ground out to third. You told yourself to just wait on it, but you never could. It was completely hopeless. You think it would be easy to hit a 59 mph curve if you knew it was coming. It was a mind-numbing exercise in futility. Did I mention that you couldn’t even F*CKING SEE IT!!!???
So how did one defeat the Greinke? Thankfully (or unthankfully depending on who you were), the Royals couldn’t hit for sh*t and stamina is any MVP pitcher’s kryptonite. I still remember an affair that the Royals lost in the 26th inning in which Greinke probably threw 18 innings of scoreless baseball before having to be taken out because all he could throw was a ball in the dirt or a big, meatball circle pitch that hitters usually crushed. Not even the Greinke could overcome the dreaded fatigue factor in MVP when all you could really do was click a button and hope they didn’t hit it over the fence. The fatigue factor is probably the only thing separating Greinke from the all-time video game greats because it was not uncommon for Greinke to go 13 scoreless innings and walk-away with a no decision.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since MVP Baseball 2005, the pinnacle of baseball gaming. It’s even harder to believe that the game gave this pitch to a pitcher who would go on to finish the 2005 season with an era of 5.80 and a 5-17 record. It made absolutely no sense, but that’s what made it so legendary.
Here’s to Zack Greinke’s curve, the most unhittable pitch in baseball.