Zack Greinke’s Arizona Diamondbacks debut did not go well, as the right-hander was roughed up for seven runs on nine hits in just four innings of work.
Expected to be the team’s ace after signing a six-year, $206.5 million contract in the offseason, he looked nothing like the pitcher who won 19 games and posted a 1.66 ERA for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season.
After the game, D-backs manager Chip Hale said Greinke threw too many pitches up in the strike zone. Greinke offered similar thoughts, and pointed out how even some pitches he thought were pretty good got hit pretty hard.
The gist, really, was that sometimes bad outings happen, and there was really no explanation needed from there.
Then, Tuesday morning, another reason for Greinke’s struggles was presented.
If Greinke was indeed suffering from the flu, his struggles on the night could in part be explained. However, if he was ill, Hale was unaware.
A guest of Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday afternoon, the second-year skipper said he knew of the report.
“I don’t know where that came from,” he said. “I got a text, actually, early this morning from Ken Rosenthal, who reported it — I guess he tweeted it — and asked me, and I didn’t respond to it because, first of all, even if it was true, I don’t know if anybody would want to make excuses for having a poor outing.
“But not that I know of, that there was any issue.”
Another possible explanation for Greinke’s issues was offered by MLB Hall of Famer and current MLB Network analyst Pedro Martinez.
While not directly saying it, Martinez was alluding to the idea that Greinke may have been tipping his pitches.
Greinke was asked about that after the game, and while he said it’s possible, he added it’s not something he’s planning on looking into.
“I know I probably threw too many pitches away early in the game and didn’t throw in enough,” he said. “Sometimes I’ll let the other team feel more comfortable in the box and I thought that was more of a possibility than tipping.”
On the idea of the Rockies possibly knowing what Greinke was throwing, Hale chuckled.
“The pitching coaches will look at that stuff,” he said, before adding he had not heard anything yet. “I just think the ball was up too much, and like I said, those are good hitters. We’ll look at all that stuff.
“These are all the excuses that come out when you struggle as a pitcher; we heard them all last year with a lot of our pitchers — hey, we’re tipping pitches, we’re not feeling well, all these things — I just choose to say the other team beat our brains in last night and that’s the way it goes.”
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