All eyes were on the mound at Dodger Stadium Saturday as Zack Greinke seemingly made his most important start of the season.
Initially scheduled to take the mound on Thursday in the series finale against the San Diego Padres, Greinke dealt with issues in his right elbow and was pushed back so as to benefit from an extra two days of rest.
The right-hander threw 105 pitches in seven innings and seemed confident his elbow wouldn’t be an issue moving forward, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
I think I’m fine,” Greinke said after he and the Dodgers beat the Mets, 7-4. “I’m pretty confident I’ll be fine tomorrow.”
Greinke previously stated he thought he would manage to throw at 100 percent, but wouldn’t feel 100 percent for the remainder of the season. The right-hander added his elbow hasn’t been an issue for him out on the mound:
Weird circumstances gave me extra time, but I’ve been pretty good,” he said. “Between starts it hasn’t bothered me. I felt great again today. I hope that’s how it stays. You’re not going to believe me, but it really hasn’t bothered me when the game’s on the line. It didn’t affect any of my pitches. It really isn’t a big issue.”
With the Dodgers leading 5-4 after six innings and Greinke already having thrown 78 pitches, manager Don Mattingly said Greinke’s performance suggested he hadn’t been dealing with any issues:
I checked on him after the sixth. I asked him how he was feeling, he said ‘perfect.’ So, it makes it easy. You see the ball coming out of his hand; you see his pitches the same; you see him locating and it just makes you feel like if you don’t get all the inside information, you don’t think anything’s wrong with this guy.”
In the final days leading up to Greinke’s start, Mattingly expressed confidence the pitcher would be ready and was more concerned with how Greinke may feel in the days after. Should the discomfort in Greinke’s elbow become an issue again, the Dodgers can utilize the off-days on Monday and Thursday to once again tinker with the starting rotation.
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