Change in D-backs rotation allows Greinke to start final game if needed

Sep 21, 2018, 6:13 PM
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws to the plate during the first inning of a...
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has yet to throw in the towel on the once-promising 2018 season.

He switched Zack Greinke into Friday’s spot in the rotation and pushed Zack Godley to Sunday.

Greinke will start the first game against the Colorado Rockies, which puts him in position to start on four days rest for the final game of the season if there are playoff implications.

The D-backs’ off-day Thursday gave Greinke a full five days rest since his last start on Sunday.

“Greinke came into my office and said, ‘Look, if I pitch on this day and on this day, I will pitch on four days rest on the final day of season,'” Lovullo said.

Thrice, Lovullo said the team has been trying to “maximize” the D-backs’ chances to make the postseason.

He said Greinke came to him with the idea last series.

“He’s very routine-oriented and if you kind of get in the way of his routine it throws him off, but once he opened up that avenue we started examining things a whole different way,” Lovullo said.

This puts Greinke on track to start up to three of Arizona’s final nine games, if needed. In addition, fellow All-Star pitcher Patrick Corbin will be able to start two.

With six total games against the Rockies and Dodgers, pitching matchups could prove vital — if the D-backs manage to hang around.

They were six games back in the division and five back in the Wild Card race entering Friday’s game. They had gone 5-13 in September.

“We walked through a whole bunch of different scenarios and we just want to maximize chances to win games,” Lovullo said. “By mixing guys up it was going to give Zack a chance to pitch two more times, and have Patrick pitch a couple more times.”

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