It was a weird game to say the least for Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke on Thursday, especially considering the season he’s had thus far.
Greinke came into matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies with a 1.41 ERA, leading the league by a wide margin, and having allowed more than three runs in a start just once in 2015. Five batters into his start, the Phillies had scored five runs and Greinke had no outs. His ERA jumped to 1.72 and the Dodgers were down by two after scoring three runs of their own to start the game.
However, Greinke recovered to allow just one more run in six innings and the Dodgers ended up winning, 10-8. The right-hander didn’t panic after the barrage in the first, thinking of his days with the Kansas City Royals via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
That used to happen a lot to me — give up runs early and I wouldn’t settle in,” Greinke said. “I saw Gil Meche a couple times give up four, five runs in the first few innings and he’d go seven and keep us in the game. Seeing that happen helped me stay focused and keep us in the game. You can’t lose in the first inning. The game is not over by any means, but if you keep letting them score, then it’s over.”
The 31-year-old seemed to take out some of his frustrations at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a home run that had an exit velocity of 106 MPH. His day at the plate wasn’t a result of luck though, it was a planned attack:
Today I was really mad after the first inning. I had more motivation to try to get some hits,” Greinke said. “Usually I just focus on pitching, but we were down by some runs, we needed good at-bats.”
He wasn’t the only one to have good at-bats, as the Dodgers scored 10 runs to lift up their starter and Greinke ended up getting a win in a game in which he allowed six earned runs.