After having his scoreless innings streak snapped by the New York Mets at Citi Field, Zack Greinke said he felt a sense of relief given he no longer would need to answer questions on his bid at history.
Back on the mound for the first time since his comments, Greinke dazzled once again despite not being the probable starter when the day began. That instead was Clayton Kershaw, who was scratched for the second time in three days due to a troublesome hip.
The change had no ill effects on Greinke as he tossed eight strong innings, collecting eight strikeouts and allowing two runs in the Los Angeles Dodgers win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the Freeway Series opener. The win was the Dodgers’ fourth consecutive over the Angels, a streak that dates back to last season.
“The stuff was pretty sharp,” Greinke said after facing the team that rented him for the second half of the 2012 season. “That was the main thing. Pretty good slider and OK command.” Greinke added moving his start up one day wasn’t an issue given some of the recent inconsistency and extended breaks between starts.
For as much as Greinke overmatched the Angels’ lineup, Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout proved to be a potent combination. The duo went 5-for-7 against Greinke on the night with Trout twice driving in Calhoun. Along with crediting Calhoun and Trout, their success was tied to lack of execution on his end, Greinke said.
Nonetheless Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had little complaint on Greinke. “It feels pretty dominant,” he said of the right-hander. “You kind of count on him getting you through a big chunk of the game.”
While Friday’s start was on par with what’s come to be expected of Greinke this season, there was one notable omission — Careless Whisper as his walk-up song. “Possibly,” he answered with a smile when asked if it would return.