Houston Astros' Zack Greinke says he doesn't miss fans being in stands

SAN DIEGO -- Houston Astros pitcher Zack Greinke said he has enjoyed playing games without fans during the pandemic-shortened season and in the playoffs.

"I don't really notice fans when the game's going on, but warming up and practice before games, I mean, for me it's nice not having fans in the stands," Greinke said Tuesday before Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. "Most people like it. When the game comes on, it's the same for me."

Asked to explain, he said: "Because then there's no one there to talk to you and ask for autographs and want pictures and all that stuff. I don't like to do that stuff. It's nice not having them, for me. Most people like it. I don't like it."

Greinke, the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner with the Kansas City Royals, discussed during spring training in 2013 that he had social anxiety disorder since before high school but no longer considered it a problem. He did not mention anxiety on Tuesday.

Some fans are being allowed to attend National League Championship Series games in Arlington, Texas, and will be allowed for the World Series, as well. The announced attendance was 10,700 for Monday's NLCS opener between the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers, not including those who didn't pay to attend.

Greinke is scheduled to start Game 4 on Wednesday night, with the Astros looking to avoid elimination following their 5-2 loss on Tuesday night. Tampa Bay now holds a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Fans weren't allowed in for the AL Division Series against the Oakland Athletics at Dodger Stadium or the ALCS at Petco Park in San Diego. Some family members have been allowed in for games in San Diego.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.