D-backs’ Zack Greinke skips start vs Dodgers for B-Game start vs Angels

Mar 2, 2019, 5:08 PM | Updated: 5:13 pm
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)...
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona Diamondbacks’ pitcher Zack Greinke skipped his start Saturday at Salt River Fields against the Los Angeles Dodgers for a B-Game start versus the other team from L.A., the Angels, at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

After the game, he assessed his performance.

“Wasn’t great, it was just OK,” Greinke said of his second start of spring training. “In all ways. All pitches were OK. Location was just OK. But I built up all the pitches, got a little tired at the end which is good, and then I feel good for the next outing.”

He admitted that part of the thinking in missing his start against the Dodgers was to avoid their NL West rival getting an additional look at the D-backs’ ace.

“I think that was a good part of it,” he said. “I don’t know how many of their guys are coming over there, but I mean that was part of the thinking.”

Greinke pitched three innings, giving up three hits and one walk. He was tagged for two runs, one earned run in the form of a Jonathan Lucroy home run. He threw 47 pitches, 29 strikes and 18 balls.

The pitcher said his goals for camp were mostly health related.

“Just come out healthy, be ready for the season is the only goal,” Greinke said. “Just making good pitches by that time.”

The 35-year old right-hander, who is known to have an affinity for spring training, admitted that it is hard to ramp up the intensity for a game like this.

“All of spring training is like that,” he said. “But it was fine. Eleven a.m. is kind of tough for me, too, just getting up early. But it worked out good. Good weather today.”

Entering his 15th MLB season, Greinke has continued to find ways to stay consistent.

“I just got to stay within myself,” Greinke said. “Whenever I start trying to throw another pitch or throw a nastier pitch, then sometimes I forget how to throw my original stuff. So, a lot of it is just staying within myself.

“But in spring, I have to build up to where I could execute, so it’s building up properly to execute and then trying my hardest without trying too hard to stay where I’m at without trying to do too much.”

Greinke admitted he still enjoys it, even after 15 seasons.

“I enjoy it especially when I’m able to execute pitches,” he said. “Then you can have a little fun trying things and you can actually think about what you’re doing out there.

“If you can’t execute your pitches, you just got to think about executing pitches. So it gets more fun when things are working and going where you want them to.”

In 2018, Greinke was 15-11 in 33 starts with a 3.21 ERA, 199 strikeouts, and a 1.079 WHIP.

“It was good,” the pitcher said of last season. “I was feeling really bad in spring, and then I just wanted to try to put a respectable season together when it started.

“And then pitches started going more where I wanted and results started to do better and I was able to make good pitches all year. So overall, everything worked out pretty good. All the pitches were pretty crisp and location was pretty good. Not amazing anymore, but still pretty solid. Better than solid, but I’ll take it.”

His teammate Archie Bradley, who also pitched in the B-Game and had two strikeouts in one inning of work, had high praise for the way Greinke has extended his career and the example he sets.

“I think every year as a player, you know, you have to get better, stronger, more flexible, or change a pitch, change your mechanics,” Bradley said. “You really do start to understand what it takes to be able to play every year and to be successful every year. You have to change things, do things, and that’s the one thing from Zack, you know.

“To watch him make changes in his game, and I’m not calling him old by any means, but what is he in his 14th, 15th season? I mean, to be able to do that and make those changes year to year just shows you it’s always evolving.”

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