Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals faced each other Monday for the first time since 2005. Zack Greinke took the mound for the Dodgers in what was his third start at Kauffman Stadium since the Royals traded him in 2010.
Greinke entered the game with a 9-3 record and 2.57 ERA. His homecoming of sorts against the franchise that selected him in the first round of the 2002 draft wouldn’t be a pleasant experience for the right-hander.
In 5.2 innings, the Royals put 11 hits on Greinke and pushed five runs across, all of them earned. The five runs allowed is a season-high for Greinke in what was his shortest outing since May 22. His night of work was a far cry from his previous starts against the Royals, where he only allowed one run in each game.
After years of cordial treatment, when manager Don Mattingly brought the hook and Greinke made his way to the dugout, the fans in attendance showered their Cy Young Award winner with resounding boos.
Following the loss, Greinke discussed the treatment and felt it was warranted given the rocky ending to his time with the Royals, via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
I don’t know,” Greinke said. “I was pretty rude on the way out. They have every right to be mad at me.”
As for Greinke’s reluctance to remain with the Royals, he added he did what he believed was necessary:
I didn’t want to be rude,” he said. “I felt I had to in order to get traded, and I wanted to get traded.”
Greinke acknowledged he received better treatment from the fans prior to Monday’s game and in the starts where he performed better against the Royals, but stopped short of attempting to explain why that was the case. The loss dropped Greinke to 1-3 in his last five starts, which is also a stretch of games where his ERA is above 4.00.
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